Spotlight On The Grand Circuit

The publicity department for the Grand Circuit has sent its weekly recap and preview of racing on the Grand Circuit.

This Week: Graduate Series legs and Tompkins-Geers, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to The Meadowlands on Saturday night (June 19) with seven stakes races on the card. There are two $50,000 divisions in the third leg of the Graduate Series for four-year-old open trotters and a single $50,000 division in the fourth leg of the Graduate Series for four-year-old open pacers.

Also on the card are four Tompkins-Geers races for two-year-olds. Two-year-old male trotters will race for $48,400, Two-year-old filly trotters will chase a $44,600 purse, and two-year-old male pacers will compete in two divisions, each for a purse of $30,650.

Last Time: Prior to Saturday’s (June 12) $99,370 Currier & Ives at The Meadows, trainer Chris Beaver predicted that his horse Perron would win some big races this year by roughing it on the outside. It was a bold forecast since Perron, the reigning Ohio champion, was winless in five starts this year.

But Beaver’s crystal ball was in focus, as Perron moved first-over to wear down Whiskey Blu and capture the prestigious test for three-year-old trotters. Panzano, also trained by Beaver, finished third.

When Whiskey Blu quarter-poled to the top, he was able to discourage any challenges until the three-quarters where Perron took up the chase. Winning driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. indicated that was about the best scenario he could draw up for the My MVP-Long Island Tea gelding.

“The four-hole is a good leaving spot here, and that’s about as good as he can leave,” Wrenn said. “I knew I would have to grind it first over, but he can go all day long. He’s just not super-handy. He’ll eye a horse down, and he just doesn’t quit.”

Perron and Whiskey Blu duelled through the stretch until Perron inched away to down his rival by a half-length in a career best 1:54.

Beaver said Perron has about a five-week gap in his schedule before his next engagement, an Ohio Sires Stake leg, and that he might look for a race for Perron or give him time off and qualify him for his return.

Perron lifted his career bankroll to $272,389.

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

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, 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 2021 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders (through the races on June 12):

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 195; 2. Dexter Dunn – 131; 3. Tim Tetrick – 120; 4. Andrew McCarthy – 101; 5. Todd McCarthy – 95.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 245; 2. Nancy Takter – 84; 3. Noel Daley – 62; 4. Brett Pelling – 60; 5. Todd Buter – 55.

Owners: 1. Brad Grant – 60; 2 (tie). Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi – 57.7; 4 (tie). Renee Bercury, Black Horse Racing – 50.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Yonkers Raceway and The Meadows. Yonkers will feature elimination races for two Triple Crown events, the MGM Yonkers Trot and the MGM Grand Messenger, as well as the New York New York Mile and Park MGM Pace. The Meadows will feature the Currier & Ives for three-year-old filly trotters.

(Grand Circuit)