Spotlight On The Grand Circuit

Published: May 6, 2021 09:52 am EDT

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

This Week: Charlie Hill Memorial, Eldorado Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Miss Versatility Series leg, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit makes its first of three stops this week on Thursday (May 6) at Eldorado Scioto Downs with the $135,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters.

Yonkers Raceway returns to the Grand Circuit calendar on Friday (May 7) with two divisions in the $57,500 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for three-year-old filly pacers and two divisions in the $47,000 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for three-year-old colt pacers.

Then on Saturday (May 8), The Meadowlands has a pair of $30,000 first leg divisions in the Miss Versatility Series for open trotting mares.

Last Time: Off an impressive win in the elimination, expectations were high for Incommunicado in Saturday’s (May 1) $115,583 Dexter Cup final at Freehold Raceway. He lived up to all of them, cruising to an impressive 3-1/2 length win in 1:56.3.

Just like he did in his elimination, Incommunicado drew post position seven in the field of eight. That did not deter the betting public, who made him the 3-5 favourite.

At the start, Yannick Gingras immediately pushed the gas pedal, sending his drive up to the front. Without much trouble, Gingras got him to the lead and the inside at the opening quarter, trotting that split in :28.2.

Incommunicado slowed things down in the second quarter, trotting the opening half-mile in :58.4, but soon encountered first-over pressure from Believer.

Believer moved up to Incommunicado’s throatlatch around the third turn, but Incommunicado held firm and would not let his rival by. Turning for home, he pulled clear and left his rivals in the dust in a final time of 1:56.3. Sunny Crockett, Fifty Ways, Ambassador Hanover, Believer, Chapolier, Credit Con and Share The Wealth completed the order of finish.

Incommunicado is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc., Little E, Arthur Geiger and David Stolz, and trained by Åke Svanstedt. He made waves last year by sweeping the Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge Park, winning the final by 17-1/4 lengths. Subsequently, he was second in the Matron at Dover Downs by a half-length. For his career, he’s won six times from 12 starts, with earnings of $282,283.

“I wanted to get him in the race and when (Credit Con) made a break in the first turn, it made things a little easier for me,” said Gingras, who won his second straight edition of the Dexter Cup. “I knew (starting from post seven) wasn’t ideal. I knew it was going to be harder than last week, there wasn’t going to be a hole or something like that, but he still did it pretty easy. The horse raced good and did the job. He’s a nice horse. He does everything you ask of him.”

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 1, 2021):

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 90; 2. Andrew McCarthy – 79; 3. George Brennan – 69; 4. Austin Siegelman – 61; 5. Todd McCarthy – 60.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 144; 2. Todd Buter – 55; 3. Noel Daley – 47; 4. Ake Svanstedt – 45; 5 (tie). Jeff Cullipher – 40; 5 (tie). Sheena McElhiney – 40.

Owners: 1. Renee Bercury – 50; 2 (tie). Burke Racing Stable – 41.1; 2 (tie). Weaver Bruscemi – 41.1; 4. Jesmeral Stable – 40; 5. Eric Prevost – 38.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at The Meadowlands with the Arthur Cutler Memorial for older trotters and the second leg of the Graduate Series for four-year-old pacers.

(Grand Circuit)