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Fall Four and TVG finals lead Grand Circuit action this week
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - by Paul Ramlow, publicity director, the Grand Circuit

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This Week: Fall Four and TVG finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Hap Hansen Progress Pace elimination, Dover Downs, Dover, Del.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Wednesday (Nov. 22) for a $35,000 elimination in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. A field off 11 will compete for eight spots in the final slated for Nov. 30.

On Saturday night (Nov. 25) Meadowlands Racetrack will host finals in each of the Fall Four events for freshman pacers and trotters and the TVG series for open pacers and trotters. The Fall Four features the 464,650 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, the $420,750 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $411,700 Governor’s Cup for 2-year-old male pacers and the $381,200 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. The TVG finals consist of the $350,000 Open Pace, the $350,000 Open Trot, the $175,000 Mare Pace and the $175,000 Mare Trot.

Complete entries for the races are available at this link.

Last time: World champion Downbytheseaside eclipsed the $2 million mark with a victory in his $210,000 division of the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Thursday (Nov. 16) at Dover Downs.

Fotowon photo
Downbytheseaside was a 1:50.1 winner in his Matron Stakes race.

The passing lane was handy for driver Chris Page to collar front-pacing Filibuster Hanover (Yannick Gingras) in the final steps for a 1:50.1 victory on a chilly and windy night. Brian Brown trains the Somebeachsomewhere-Sprig Hanover colt, who is owned by Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, Country Club Acres and Diamond Creek Racing.

In what was his 12th win of the year, Downbytheseaside was placed in third by Page immediately after the pair left the starting gate and was content to allow Filibuster Hanover to establish the early fractions of :26.3, :55.4 and 1:23.1. Page kept the second betting choice in the pocket spot while Rock N Tony ranged up on his outside in second at the three-quarter pole.

As Rock N Tony retreated after his overland journey entering the stretch, his stablemate Eddard Hanover, one of three horses trained by Ron Burke in this race, paced into third position with Funknwaffles in hot pursuit. It initially appeared Page would steer Downbytheseaside to the outside to challenge Filibuster Hanover, but the colt's driver opted for the rail route to down his rival by a neck in the shadow of the wire. Eddard Hanover (Tetrick) remained in third.

M And L of Delaware, the nom de course for Roz and Doug Paul, who are longtime harness patrons that usually have a propensity for pacers, now have a Matron trotting champion with their partner Bill Wiswell in Bill's Man. Tetrick guided the horse from off the pace to score in a new lifetime best 1:52.2 over Devious Man (Andy Miller) with Top Flight Angel (Daniel Dube) in third in the $201,900 sophomore male trot.

Breeders Crown champion What The Hill (David Miller) and Devious Man (Andy Miller) exchanged the lead prior to Bill’s Man closing with authority for his fifth win of the season. John Butenschoen conditions the son of Credit Winner-Silver Springs, who now has banked $454,446 this year.

David Miller and Agent Q came home first in the $182,700 Matron sophomore filly pace final. The daughter of Western Terror-Teenage Paige scored her 10th triumph of 2017 for Martin Scharf, Bob Muscara and Rochetti Cassar Racing. Aaron Lambert trains the winner of $1,137,620 lifetime. Idyllic Beach (Gingras) was runner-up with Tequila Monday (Brett Miller) in third. Agent Q stopped the clock in 1:51.

Determination's Dream Together, handled by Dan Dube, caught Evelyn (Andy Miller) at the wire by a nose to notch a 1:53.2 win for trainer Luc Blais in the $186,600 sophomore filly trot. The Muscle Hill-Danae 3-year-old won for the fourth time this year and this was the 13th occasion from 15 starts that she finished first, second or third. Race favorite Ice Attraction (Ake Svanstedt) finished third.

Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website.

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders through and including the races on Nov. 18.

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 1,609.5; 2. David Miller – 1,333; 3. Tim Tetrick – 1,088; 4. Scott Zeron – 714; 5. Corey Callahan – 510.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,454.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 1,261.5; 3. Brian Brown – 512; 4. John Butenschoen – 511; 5. Ake Svanstedt – 451.

Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable – 331.4; 2. Determination – 291; 3. Weaver Bruscemi – 287.6; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm – 250; 5. Diamond Creek Racing – 217.8.

Looking ahead: The 2017 Grand Circuit season comes to a close on Nov. 30. Dover Downs will host the final stake of the season in the $300,000 (est.) Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers.


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