Lebanon, OH — The two Monday afternoon (May 6) headliners, Atlanta and Shartin N, put on quite a show on closing day at Miami Valley Raceway, dominating their respective $100,000 Grand Circuit tests.
Atlanta was first up in the Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares. Last year’s Hambletonian winner, making her first start for new trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras, showed her heels to a compact field from start to finish, stopping the timer in 1:50.4, a national season’s mark for trotting mares on a five-eighths mile track. Weslynn Dancer (Matt Kakaley) rallied from last at the halfway juncture to finish second, while Custom Cantab (Peter Wrenn) grabbed the show dough.
Atlanta, a daughter of Chapter Seven, won for the 13th time and increased her earnings to $1,240,689 with the 7-3/4 length triumph. She is owned by Crawford Farms, Bradley Grant and Howard Taylor.
“I never had an anxious moment,” exclaimed Gingras in the winner’s circle. “You can drive her with two fingers and she likes her work. When you ask her for a little more, she does it willingly.”
“It’s an honor to welcome a Hambletonian winner into your barn,” smiled Burke. “She has done everything right training down. She has all the special characteristics of a special horse!”
When asked what’s next for Atlanta, Burke revealed that she may very well be headed to Stockholm, Sweden for the world renowned Elitlopp for her next stop.
The $100,000 Sam ‘Chip’ Noble Memorial Grand Circuit Pace was captured by Shartin N for the second consecutive year, as she beat Medusa (Gingras) and Baron Remy (Kakaley). Her gate-to-wire 1:49.4 score was just a fifth of a second off her Miami Valley track record set in the 2018 edition.
Owned by Richard Poillucci, JoAnn Looney-King (wife of trainer Jim King Jr.) and driver Tim Tetrick, Shartin N now boasts 31 wins in 43 trips to post and earnings of $1,498,853.