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Spotlight On The Grand Circuit

Published: September 12, 2018 12:39 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: Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial, and Peaceful Way finals; and Milton Stakes, Metro and Shes A Great Lady eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ont.; and Kindergarten Series, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.

Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action will kick off at Tioga Downs on Friday (Sept. 14) with two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for two-year-old filly trotters and single $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for two-year-old colt trotters, two-year-old colt pacers and two-year-old filly pacers.

Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park will also begin on Friday with two $35,000 eliminations in the Milton for older pacing mares. A big Saturday card will feature the $665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for three-year-old open trotters, the $340,000 Elegantimage for three-year-old filly trotters, the $400,000 William Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old trotting colts, the $385,000 Peaceful Way for two-year-old trotting fillies, two $40,000 eliminations in the Metro for two-year-old pacing colts and two $35,000 eliminations in the Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies.

Last time: Last Saturday evening (Sept. 8) at Eldorado Scioto Downs, Split The House (driven by Aaron Merriman) demonstrated why he is the defending Breeders Crown champion with a 1:49.1 triumph over Nuclear Dragon (Dan Noble) in the $250,000 Jim Ewart Memorial.

Filibuster Hanover (Tony Hall) was third, with Western Fame (Tyler Smith) and favoured McWicked (David Miller) dead-heating for fourth on the ‘sloppy’ track.

Merriman and his charge stated their case when leaving with conviction from Post 6. Nuclear Dragon, however, snatched the front to lead the field through a sharp :26.2 first quarter-mile.

Noble continued to sulky-sit as Nuclear Dragon paced his splits in :53.2 and 1:20.4. It appeared that the six-year-old gelding was on his way to his first Grand Circuit victory. That is until a resurgent Split The House rallied on the rail to win by a neck and collect his second victory of the season in nine starts and 14th in 39 career efforts.

Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Split The House is trained by Chris Oakes. He has now earned $306,846 in 2018 and $913,179 lifetime.

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, 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 2018 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders following the past weekend.

Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick – 843.5; 2. Yannick Gingras – 820.5; 3. David Miller – 539.5; 4. Scott Zeron – 402; 5. Jordan Stratton – 288.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 697.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 629; 3. Tony Alagna – 440; 4. Jim Campbell – 256; 5. Erv Miller – 245.

Owners: 1. Fashion Farms – 169; 2. Burke Racing Stable – 154.3; 3. Weaver Bruscemi – 149.3; 4. Brittany Farms - 147.4; 5. Robert Key – 122.

Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Woodbine Mohawk Park and Hoosier Park. Delaware will be hosting nine Grand Circuit events, led by the Little Brown Jug, the third and final leg of Pacing’s Triple Crown for three-year-olds; Woodbine Mohawk Park will feature the finals of the Milton for older pacing mares and Metro and Shes A Great Lady for freshman pacers; Hoosier will host seven Grand Circuit races, including the Caesars Trotting Classic for open trotters and the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for open pacers.

(Grand Circuit)

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