Big M, Yonkers share this weekend’s Grand Circuit spotlight

This Week: Graduate Series Trot first leg, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J., and Art Rooney and Lismore eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.

Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action takes place this Saturday (May 18) at Meadowlands Racetrack with a pair of $50,000 divisions in the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open trotters.

Also on Saturday, Yonkers Raceway will host two $40,000 eliminations in the Art Rooney for 3-year-old open pacers and two $20,000 eliminations in the Lismore for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

Complete entries for the races are available at this link.

Last Time: This past Saturday night (May 11), Yonkers Raceway featured the $92,100 W.N. Reynolds Pace, which offered two divisions each for the 3-year-old girls and boys.

A gingerly-handled Queen Of The Pride (Jordan Stratton, $2.30) was as advertised in her $22,050 event, winning by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:54. The daughter of McArdle, owned by Frank Chick and trained by Kevin Lare, is now four-for-five this season.

As Time Goes By (Stratton, $13) went by tiring odds-on favorite Art Lecture (George Brennan) in a life-best 1:54.3, winning her $21,550 event. The Captaintreacherous miss is trained by Julie Miller for co-owners Willow Oak Ranch and Andy Miller Stable.

The colt and gelding groupings, each worth $24,250, were won by Wager On Me (by Bettor’s Delight) for co-owners George and Tina Dennis Racing and North State Street Stable, trainer Joe Columbo and driver Jason Bartlett in 1:54.2 and American Admiral (by American Ideal) for co-owners William, Ian and James Fleming, trainer Andrew Harris and driver Jim Marohn Jr. in 1:54.3.

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

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, 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 2019 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders following this past weekend:

Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick – 178; 2. Jason Bartlett – 117; 3. George Brennan – 100; 4t. Daniel Dube – 92; 4t. Jordan Stratton – 92.

Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. – 142; 2. Ron Burke – 83; 3. Rene Allard – 77; 4. Richard Banca – 61; 5. Andrew Harris – 54.

Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King – 51.7; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC – 48.2; 3. Richard Poillucci – 41.7; 4. Brad Grant – 41; 5. D R Van Witzenburg – 40.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Woodbine Mohawk Park (first leg of the Miss Versatility for trotting mares); The Meadows (Currier & Ives for 3-year-old trotters); Yonkers Raceway (Art Rooney and Lismore finals for 3-year-old pacers); and Harrah’s Philadelphia (Maxie Lee Memorial for open trotters, Betsy Ross for pacing mares and Commodore Barry for open pacers).

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