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Red Mile opens up this weekend's Grand Circuit action
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - by Paul Ramlow, publicity director, the Grand Circuit

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This Week: Bluegrass Stakes, Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.; Dayton Pacing Derby and Dayton Trotting Derby, Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Dayton, Ohio; and John Simpson Stakes, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.

Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 28) at Red Mile with five divisions in the $366,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Sept. 29) card at the Lexington oval will feature five divisions in the $330,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday (Sept. 30), Red Mile will offer the $400,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $300,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly pacers. The first week of racing in Lexington will conclude on Sunday (Oct. 1) with $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass events for 3-year-old male and female trotters and pacers.

Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday night will feature a pair of Grand Circuit stakes in the $167,000 Dayton Trotting Derby for older trotters and the $140,000 Dayton Pacing Derby for older pacers.

Also on Friday, Harrah’s Philadelphia will contest four $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters and three $30,000 divisions in the John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Sunday card at Harrah’s Philadelphia will see the $74,000 (est.) John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $68,000 (est.) John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters.

Complete entries for the races are available at this link.

Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on the Delaware (Ohio) County Fair this past week, with the $590,400 Little Brown Jug leading five days of exciting stakes races.

USTA/Mark Hall photo
Filibuster Hanover was a 1:50 winner in the Little Brown Jug final.

Prior to Thursday’s (Sept. 21) Little Brown Jug final, trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras decided that, win or lose, they wanted to send Filibuster Hanover to the front at the start of the race.

It was a win.

Filibuster Hanover, starting from post No. 2 after his second-place finish to Fear The Dragon in the day’s earlier first heat, got the lead and never looked back to win the $401,472 Little Brown Jug final for 3-year-old male pacers by a length over Funknwaffles in 1:50 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.

Miso Fast, another horse from the Burke Stable, finished third and Fear The Dragon was fourth in the 72nd edition of the event, presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association.

It was the second Little Brown Jug victory for the tandem of Burke and Gingras, who won in 2014 with Limelight Beach.

Filibuster Hanover is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Fashion Ecstasy. He is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Joseph DiScala Jr., J&T Silva Stables, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. He was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms and was purchased for $90,000 at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale.

For the year, Filibuster Hanover has won three of 14 races and earned $518,859. For his career, he has five victories in 27 starts and $633,258.

On Friday evening (Sept. 22) the majority of the fans at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino sought the cooler confines of the great indoors, but braved the humid conditions to witness an overall track record performance by world and Indiana champion Homicide Hunter.

The 5-year-old gelding sailed by fellow champion Hannelore Hanover in deep stretch and held off the late bid of another familiar colleague in track record holder Natural Herbie to score in the $240,000 Centaur Trotting Classic in a track record of 1:51.2 to complete an Indiana-bred trifecta in the event, which was one of seven Grand Circuit contests on the card.

Owned by Crawford Farms, Homicide Hunter is trained by Chris Oakes. The triumph in the Centaur Trotting Classic improves his record to a sterling 57-30-6-7 and makes him the sport’s newest millionaire.

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 Sept. 23.

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 1,007; 2. David Miller – 764; 3. Tim Tetrick – 633; 4. Scott Zeron – 475; 5. Corey Callahan – 363.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 888.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 720; 3. Brian Brown – 375; 4. John Butenschoen – 296; 5. Ake Svanstedt – 262.

Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable – 209; 2. Emerald Highlands Farm – 205; 3. Determination – 204; 4. Weaver Bruscemi – 175.2; 5. Diamond Creek Racing – 151.5.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will again be taking place next week at Lexington’s historic Red Mile. Featured will be the Kentucky Futurity, the third leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap will be the companion Kentucky Filly Futurity for the sophomore fillies, the Tattersalls Pace and the Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, four International Stallion Stakes races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, and four Allerage contests for open pacers and trotters.

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