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Spotlight On The Grand Circuit

Published: October 11, 2017 11:48 am ET

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

This Week: Yonkers International Trot, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Circle City and Madison County, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Courageous Lady, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio.

Schedule of events: This week’s marquee event on the Grand Circuit is the $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino, which will be held on Saturday (October 14) at Yonkers Raceway. A field of 10 top trotters will head to the gate in the Yonkers International.

Also on tap this week will be Circle City and Madison County events at Hoosier Park. The Thursday (October 12) card at Hoosier will feature the $73,600 Madison County for two-year-old filly trotters, the $68,800 Circle City for three-year-old filly trotters, the $53,800 Madison County for two-year-old filly pacers and the $50,000 Circle City for three-year-old filly pacers. The Saturday (October 14) Hoosier Park program will feature $65,000 (est.) Circle City races for three-year-old male pacers and trotters and $65,000 (est.) Madison County events for two-year-old male pacers and trotters.

Also on Saturday, Northfield Park will host the $120,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers.

Last time: Blowing into contention at odds of 82-1 in the elimination, Snowstorm Hanover replicated his first heat rally and surged past Devious Man to win the $420,000 final of the Kentucky Futurity, sponsored by Hunterton Farms, Stoner Manor Inc., and Menhammer Stuteri Ab., in 1:53.2 on October 8 at the Red Mile.

“I really wonder now if he just doesn’t like the hot weather,” Ron Burke said of his aptly-named trotter. “We noticed that he washes out sometimes very badly in the parade, and sometimes when he washes out he’s really bad. So, maybe today, the weather was a blessing to him; it seemed cooler."

Snowstorm Hanover got away fourth in the final and tracked his stablemate, What The Hill, while Bills Man put up a quarter in :29. Yes Mickey, who circled out of the pocket, took the field to the half in :56.3 while What The Hill marched first-over into second, carrying Snowstorm Hanover with him.

Devious Man, positioned fourth-over around the turn, was flying towards the centre of the track heading to the three-quarters, which was timed in 1:24.2, and took over the lead midway in the stretch.

Snowstorm Hanover, who angled three wide, chased after Devious Man heading to the eighth pole, pursued the leader and eventually drew alongside before sticking his nose in front in the final yards to win. Lindy The Great finished third and What The Hill was fourth.

Returning $13.60 to win, Snowstorm Hanover, by Muscle Massive out of the Andover Hall mare Snow Angel Hanover, won his eighth race in what was his 32nd career start. He has now earned $649,349 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Phil Collura and Weaver Bruscemi. He is trained by Ron Burke and was driven by Matt Kakaley.

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 Oct. 7.

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 1,284.5; 2. David Miller – 1,029; 3. Tim Tetrick – 888; 4. Scott Zeron – 615; 5. Corey Callahan – 463.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,108.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 997.5; 3. John Butenschoen – 426; 4. Brian Brown – 400; 5. Erv Miller – 354.

Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable – 257.6; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 223.8; 3. Determination – 209; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm – 205; 5. Ken Jacobs – 182.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Hoosier Park with 12 Breeders Crown eliminations (if necessary) set to take place on Friday (October 20) and Saturday (October 21).

(Grand Circuit)

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