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Spotlight On The Grand Circuit

Published: October 9, 2014 2:13 pm ET

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The publicity department for the Grand Circuit has sent out its preview for upcoming Grand Circuit races.

This Week: Historic Series, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Chester, Pa., and American-National finals, Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill.

Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week will get underway on Thursday (Oct. 9) at Harrah’s Philadelphia with four divisions in the $100,680 Historic – Acorn for two-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Oct. 10) card at Philadelphia will feature a trio of divisions in the $104,178 Historic – Debutante for two-year-old filly pacers. The Sunday (Oct. 12) card at Philadelphia offers three divisions in the $102,878 Historic – Goshen Cup for two-year-old colt pacers and two splits in the $102,380 Historic – Harriman Cup for two-year-old colt trotters.

Balmoral Park will host eight American-National Grand Circuit stakes events on Saturday (Oct. 11). The card will feature the $227,000 three-year-old colt pace, the $203,000 three-year-old colt trot, the $179,000 open pace, the $173,500 three-year-old filly pace, the $166,300 open trot, the $150,000 three-year-old filly trot, the $86,000 two-year-old colt pace and the $61,150 two-year-old filly pace.

Last time: The Kentucky Futurity, the second leg of the Trotting Triple Crown, capped off two exciting weeks of Grand Circuit racing at the Red Mile.

‘Team Takter’ provided Red Mile fans with a thrilling stretch duel between stablemates Nuncio and Father Patrick who slugged it out to the wire, with Nuncio emerging victorious by one and a quarter lengths in 1:51.3 in the 122nd edition of the $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for sophomore trotting colts.

Hall of Famer John Campbell steered Nuncio, a son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle, to his eighth win of the season and his 13th career victory for owner Stall TZ, Inc. He now has $1,488,970 in career earnings.

Nuncio had the lead from start to finish, trotting through splits of :27.2, :54.1 and 1:22.2 before Father Patrick (driven by Yannick Gingras) began to challenge him. It appeared that Father Patrick was going to trot right past Nuncio, but the latter dug in hard and held off his stablemate.

Shake It Cerry put forth a dominating performance in the 49th edition of the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, stopping the timer in 1:52.2 for driver Ron Pierce and trainer Takter. The 1-5 public’s choice, a daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig, pushed her career earnings to $1,562,205 for the Solveig’s Racing Partners.

Shake It Cerry took the lead handily in rein to Pierce, trotting comfortably through fractions of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before drawing off in the stretch by four and a half lengths. Vanity Matters (David Miller) made a bid first-over going to the three-quarters and held on to be second, while Scream And Shout (Yannick Gingras) got up for third.

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, 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 2014 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders following the past weekend.

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 1,685; 2. Tim Tetrick – 850; 3. David Miller – 780.5; 4. Ron Pierce – 565.5; 5. Corey Callahan – 501.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,735.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 1,367; 3. Joe Holloway – 329; 4. Erv Miller – 311.5; 5. Tony Alagna – 310.

Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 388.85; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 346.35; 3. 3 Brothers Stable – 247; 4. Robert Key – 230; 5. Brittany Farms – 223.95.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Maywood Park, Woodbine Racetrack, Vernon Downs and Yonkers Raceway. Maywood Park will feature four races led by the Windy City Pace for three-year-olds, along with the Cinderella for three-year-old filly pacers, the Abe Lincoln for two-year-old colt pacers and the Galt for three-year-old trotters; Woodbine will offer eliminations in four events for two-year-olds of both sexes and gaits (the Goldsmith Maid and Three Diamonds for fillies and the Governor’s Cup and Valley Victory for colts); Vernon will offer the fifth leg of the Kindergarten Series for two-year-old colt and filly trotters; and Yonkers has four sets of eliminations in stakes for three-year-olds of both sexes and gats, led by the Messenger, the final leg of Pacing’s Triple Crown, and the Yonkers Trot, the final leg of the Trotting Triple Crown, along with the Lady Maud for pacing fillies and the Hudson Filly Trot for trotting fillies.

(Grand Circuit)


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