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Spotlight On The Grand Circuit

Published: November 22, 2016 3:58 pm 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: Courageous Lady, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio and Hap Hansen Progress Pace final, Dover Downs, Dover, Del.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit begins its final week of the 2016 campaign on Saturday (Nov. 26) with the $120,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year-old pacing fillies. The field of eight is led by Jugette winner L A Delight.

On Monday (Nov. 28), Dover Downs will host the $300,000 (est.) Hap Hansen Progress Pace final for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Check Six and Manhattan Beach won their $35,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace eliminations on Nov. 21 at Dover Downs.

Last time: Downbytheseaside got one back on rival Huntsville Saturday night (Nov. 19) in the $384,800 Governor’s Cup at Woodbine Racetrack. The Brian Brown trained colt delivered a powerful performance to win the final major race of the season for 2-year-old pacing males in 1:51.1.

Driven by David Miller, Downbytheseaside was unhurried at the start and got away fifth, directly behind Huntsville, the 1-5 favorite. Air Strike charged off the wings of the gate from post nine and put up an opening quarter-mile of :27.2.
Huntsville got his cue to go from driver Tim Tetrick after the opening quarter-mile and rushed up to grab the front. However, Miller was not going to let the favorite get away and followed Huntsville to the front, ultimately clearing to command at the half in :55.2.

Downbytheseaside and Huntsville began to edge away from their competition on the far turn, as the leader paced a solid third quarter of :27.3 to reach three-quarters in 1:23. In the stretch, Huntsville angled off Miller’s back and took his shot at glory, but Downbytheseaside was fired up and turned aside his rival to win by 3-1/4 lengths.

A son of Somebeachsomewhere-Sprig Hanover, Downbytheseaside now has eight wins in 13 starts. The Brown trainee completes his rookie season with earnings of $577,106 for owners Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco and Richard Lombardo.

Snowstorm Hanover grabbed control early in the mile and coasted around the Woodbine oval to a 1:55.1 win as the 7-5 public choice in the $298,960 Valley Victory final for 2-year-old trotting males on Nov. 19.

The Ron Burke trained colt by Muscle Massive out of the Andover Hall mare Snow Angel Hanover, was sent to the front by driver Matt Kakaley, trotting splits of :28.1 and :57.3. Into the final turn, Snowstorm Hanover gained three lengths of separation from pocket-rider Moonshiner Hanover, as well as from first-over pursuer Jake and International Moni on his back.

Trotting three-quarters in 1:25.3, Snowstorm Hanover still held a sizable lead through the stretch. International Moni fanned off cover and narrowed in on the leader while Jake chased them from third, but Snowstorm Hanover remained in front by a length.

Snowstorm Hanover won his sixth race in 14 starts, amassing $340,149 in earnings for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Phil Collura and Frank Baldachino.

That's The Ticket charged home to win the $315,980 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old pacing fillies on Nov. 19 at Woodbine Racetrack. The Chris Ryder trained pacing filly was able to convert off a perfect third-over trip from driver David Miller for her second win in 14 starts.

Idyllic Beach, the 6-5 favorite, left out hard to grab command ahead of a pesky Someomensomewhere. The public’s choice posted an opening quarter of :27.2 and was unchallenged in the second quarter-mile to lead the field by the half in :56.4.

Caviart Ally came first up just after the half and supplied cover to Candlelight Dinner from fifth and That's The Ticket in sixth. The first-over challenger pulled up alongside Idyllic Beach at three-quarters in 1:25.2. In the stretch, That's The Ticket shot off cover and delivered a stunning stretch rally to fly by her rivals with powerful strides. The Ryder trainee crossed the wire first in 1:53.4, 3-1/4 lengths ahead of runner-up Idyllic Beach. Candlelight Dinner edged out Caviart Ally for third.

Owned by Craig Henderson, Robert Mondillo and Lawrence Minowitz, That's The Ticket now has 2016 earnings of $268,521.

Sent off the 5-2 second choice, Magic Presto sat a pocket trip to 3-5 favorite Princess Aurora before edging off the pylons in the stretch and sweeping to a 1:55.4 victory in the $330,780 Goldsmith Maid final for 2-year-old trotting fillies Nov. 19 at Woodbine Racetrack.

Brian Sears guided Richard “Nifty” Norman trainee Magic Presto to the front before the first turn, with Temple Ruins tucking into second and Princess Aurora into third. After a :29.1 quarter, Princess Aurora pursued the front and struggled to clear to command. She managed to take the front before trotting a :58.1 half.

Maintaining control through a 1:26.3 third quarter, Princess Aurora was soon braced by Magic Presto emerging from the pocket. Within a matter of strides, Magic Presto trotted to the lead and clear of Princess Aurora to win by 3-1/4 lengths. Temple Ruins chased the two for third and Cameron Hill finished fourth.

Winning her fourth race in nine starts this season, Magic Presto, a 2-year-old trotting filly by Kadabra from the Muscles Yankee mare In The Mean Time, finishes her rookie season with $294,762 for owners Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman, David McDuffee, and Little E.

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2016, 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 Farm is the sponsor for the 2016 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the current leaders:

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 1,685.5; 2. David Miller – 1,365; 3. Tim Tetrick – 1,241.5; 4. Scott Zeron – 651.5; 5. Brett Miller – 609.5.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,606.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 1,518.5; 3. Tony Alagna – 608; 4. Ake Svanstedt – 491; 5. Erv Miller – 477.

Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable – 364.92; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 301.67; 3. Marvin Katz – 288.3; 4. Tom Hill – 249; 5. Al Libfeld – 231.8.

Looking ahead: The 2016 Grand Circuit season will conclude after this weekend; the 2017 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January.

(Grand Circuit)

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