Spotlight On The Grand Circuit

Published: May 13, 2021 09:56 am EDT

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

This Week: Arthur Cutler Memorial and Graduate Series leg, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to The Meadowlands on Saturday (May 15), with the $141,250 Arthur Cutler Memorial for open trotters and two $50,000 divisions in the second leg of the Graduate Series for four-year-old open pacers.

Last Time: With $135,000 on the line, Ohio-bred Its Academic took control and never looked back in winning the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot at Eldorado Scioto Downs on Thursday (May 6). The four-year-old stallion by Uncle Peter led gate-to-wire for driver Yannick Gingras.

Getting his own way to a :28 opening quarter and :56 half, no serious bids were made to challenge the leader. Stablemate Mission Accepted (Chris Page) popped the pocket at the three-quarter pole but could not make up any ground. Posting a :27.3 last quarter, Its Academic won by two lengths in 1:52.3. Mission Accepted finished second and Majestic Player A (Brett Miller) was third. Whata Swan (Trace Tetrick), who supplemented into the race, was fourth.

“He’s just so beautiful to drive,” said Gingras after the race. “He’s two fingers. Just a perfect horse to drive. He was vicious last start at The Meadowlands and he was wrapped up. I liked the fractions, they played into my favour.”

The field of classy trotters had earned more than $4 million going into the race, and Its Academic boosted his lifetime earnings to $570,914 for owner Brad Grant. The trotter just recently moved into the Ron Burke barn after racing up in Canada for Richard Moreau and paid $6.00 to win for his third victory in seven starts this year.

The winner of the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot gets an automatic nomination to the Caesars Trotting Classic scheduled for Sept. 24 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.

Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website.

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 May 8, 2021):

Drivers: Yannick Gingras – 115; 2. Todd McCarthy – 95; 3. Andrew McCarthy – 79; 4. George Brennan – 74; 5. Tim Tetrick – 70.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 174; 2. Noel Daley – 57; 3. Todd Buter – 55; 4. Ake Svanstedt – 47; 5t. Jeff Cullipher – 40; 5t. Sheena McElhiney – 40.

Owners: 1. Renee Bercury – 50; 2t. Burke Racing Stable – 43.6; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi – 43.6; 4t. Jesmeral Stable – 40; 4t. Brad Grant – 40.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at The Meadowlands with the first leg of the Graduate Series for four-year-old trotters.

(Grand Circuit)