Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week commences on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 21) at Harrah’s Philadelphia with three divisions in the $95,100 John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers and two divisions in the $83,800 John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Oct. 22) card features three divisions in the $107,400 John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers and three divisions in the $93,800 John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters.
Hoosier Park on Friday (Oct. 22) will host The Pegasus for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be two divisions in the $58,000 3-year-old colt pace; two divisions in the $57,000 3-year-old colt trot; two divisions in the $48,000 3-year-old filly trot; and a single $45,000 division in the 3-year-old filly pace.
Breeders Crown eliminations at The Meadowlands will take place on Friday (Oct. 22) and Saturday (Oct. 23). Friday will feature a trio of $25,000 races for 2-year-old males of both gaits. a pair of $25,000 races for 2-year-old filly trotters, and a single $25,000 elimination for 2-year-old filly pacers. Saturday features a pair of $25,000 eliminations in the 3-year-old male pace, the 3-year-old male trot, and the 3-year-old filly trot, plus single $25,000 eliminations in the 3-year-old filly pace, the Open Pace, the Mare Pace, and the Mare Trot.
Complete entries for the races are available at this link.
Last time: Test Of Faith strengthened her case for divisional Horse of the Year honors by continuing her streak of Grand Circuit victories in Saturday’s (Oct. 16) $100,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year old filly pacers at MGM Northfield Park.
Driven by David Miller, Test Of Faith sat the pocket through fractions of :26.3, :55 and 1:22.2 before tipping in the final quarter and winning by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:50.2. The clocking tied the track record for sophomore filly pacers.
Oakwoodanabella IR (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) carved the fractions and finished second. Think Of Galaxies (Matt Kakaley) followed the top two the entire mile and finished third.
Brett Pelling conditions Test Of Faith for owners Melvin Segal, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Eddie Gran. Test Of Faith (Art Major–Cannae Cammie) now has 20 wins in 23 lifetime starts. Saturday’s victory increased her career bankroll to $1,205,239.
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 10-16-21):
Drivers: 1. Dexter Dunn – 1,030; 2. Yannick Gingras – 942; 3. Tim Tetrick – 817; 4. David Miller – 799; 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 once again take place next week at The Meadowlands, Harrah’s Hoosier Park, and Harrah’s Philadelphia. The Meadowlands will offer 12 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and older horses of both sexes and gaits; Harrah’s Hoosier Park will feature The Circle City for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits; and Harrah’s Philadelphia will host the John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits.