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Spotlight On The Grand Circuit

Published: October 14, 2021 11:56 am ET

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The Grand Circuit's weekly overview highlights the upcoming stop at Northfield Park.

This Week: Courageous Lady, MGM Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio.

Schedule Of Events: The lone Grand Circuit race of the week is the $100,000 Courageous Lady, set for this Saturday, Oct. 16 at MGM Northfield Park.

Leading divisional Horse of the Year candidate Test Of Faith will look to continue her streak of Grand Circuit wins in the seven-horse event.

Complete entries for the race are available on the USTA website here.

Last Time: Conditioner Greg Wright Jr. gave the public a taste of his trotting star Jujubee on Hambletonian Day following a strong campaign in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes. A 1:49.4 winner on the sport’s biggest stage, Jujubee took a $75,000 shot at the $561,000 Kentucky Futurity and fired a 1:49.3 victory on Sunday (Oct. 10) at The Red Mile.

Leaving from post five, Jujubee jetted off the car to lead the field heading to a :27.1 first quarter before yielding control to Cuatro De Julio moving for the backside. However, driver Andrew McCarthy spent little time in the pocket and circled Jujubee back to the point through a :54.2 half as Really Fast crept forward uncovered into the final turn.

Jujubee continued to roll as Really Fast broke stride midway around the final turn, leaving Ahundreddollarbill — the other supplement into the race — first-over to three-quarters in 1:22.4. He gained little ground coming into the stretch, where Jujubee blew away from the field.

By the eighth pole, he accelerated to an open-length advantage over Cuatro De Julio giving pursuit from second and flew by the beam 5-1/4 lengths in front. Fly Light closed for third and Johan Palema finished fourth.

Through 21 starts, Jujubee has amassed $630,607 for owner/breeder Jon Erdner, who last visited the winner’s circle at The Red Mile in 2008 when One Tough Lass won the Kentucky Filly Futurity. Along with wins in the Muscle Hill and Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship, Jujubee also won the $100,000 Phil Langley Memorial at Harrah’s Hoosier Park before shipping to Lexington.

“He’s just a good, simple horse,” trainer Greg Wright Jr. said after the race. “He takes care of himself, and we came right from Hoosier so it’s been wonderful jogging him on this track and training him. I mean, I don’t know how much better he can get. He’s done everything pretty simply.”

Wright Jr. said the choice to supplement Jujubee into the Futurity was simple for Erdner, and Erdner relayed that along with his plans to pay his Creatine colt into the Breeders Crown.

“The horse deserves a chance,” Erdner said. “He’s a great horse and I’d like to see him go as far as he can go.”

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 October 10, 2021):

Drivers: 1. Dexter Dunn – 1,030; 2. Yannick Gingras – 942; 3. Tim Tetrick – 817; 4. David Miller – 779; 5. Andrew McCarthy – 682.5.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,032; 2. Tony Alagna – 614.5; 3. Nifty Norman – 525; 4. Nancy Takter – 520; 5. Ake Svanstedt – 514.

Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable – 211.6; 2. Crawford Farms Racing – 188; 3. Weaver Bruscemi – 182.8; 4. Threelyonsracing – 180; 5. Brad Grant – 174.1.

Looking Ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at The Meadowlands, Harrah’s Philadelphia and Harrah’s Hoosier Park. The Meadowlands will host Breeders Crown eliminations for two-year-olds, three-year-olds and older horses of both sexes and gaits. Harrah’s Philadelphia will offer the John Simpson Memorial for three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Harrah’s Hoosier Park has the Pegasus for three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits.

(Grand Circuit)


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