Schedule of events: Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night (May 11) will host two divisions in the $48,500 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and two divisions in the $43,600 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link.
Last time: Osterc and driver Yannick Gingras made a three-wide move on the backstretch and overtook leader Cavill Hanover on the final turn on their way to victory in Saturday’s (May 4) $118,950 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old trotters at Freehold Raceway.
Osterc, the 3-5 favorite, won by 1-1/4 lengths over HL Revadon in 1:57. Skyway Kon Man finished third and Cavill Hanover was fourth.
The Dexter Cup is the first stakes race on the road to August’s $1 million Hambletonian Stakes, the sport’s premier event for 3-year-old trotters. Osterc is eligible to the Hambletonian, as are HL Revadon and Cavill Hanover.
“He had plenty of go,” Gingras said about Osterc, a 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion who was making his seasonal debut. “He got a little bit bumpy going around the last turn, but other than that he was perfect. He had a lot of trot and he got the job done. As far as trot-wise, there were no worries anywhere.”
Osterc, who started from post six in a field reduced to seven horses by the scratch of Big Money Honey, got away in sixth place as HL Revadon went to the early lead. HL Revadon yielded the top spot to Cavill Hanover as the leaders reached the quarter-mile point in :28.2.
Cavill Hanover continued to lead through a half in :57.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.3. Osterc, who began his move to the front just prior to the midway point and flushed the cover of Dexter Cup elimination winner Whirl Winds K, trotted the final quarter-mile in :29.1 to win for the sixth time in eight career starts.
Osterc is trained by Per Engblom, who is in his first year with his own stable after spending the past six years as Jimmy Takter’s top assistant. The Dexter Cup was Engblom’s first stakes victory. He trains the colt, a son of Cantab Hall out of Oh Oh Hereshecomes who has earned $285,876 lifetime, for breeder-owners Christina Takter and Goran Falk.
“That was nice, very nice,” Engblom said. “Coming off the last turn Yannick said he hit the wheel and was close to making a break, but he had plenty of trot, so that was a good feeling. I was sure he had enough power, it was just a question of keeping him flat.”
Osterc paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.40.
One race prior to the Dexter, Gingras captured the $66,000 Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old female trotters with 6-5 favorite Magical Beliefs. The filly, trained by Linda Toscano, won by a half-length over Cardinale in 1:57.4 with Golden Tricks finishing third.
Magical Beliefs, a daughter of Cantab Hall out of Frisky Magic who was making her seasonal debut, is owned by Highland Green Farms, South Mountain Stables, and R-And-I Farms. She has won five of 11 career races and earned $201,989.
Magical Beliefs, who is not eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks, paid $4.40, $3.20 and $2.40.
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 – 158; 2. George Brennan – 100; 3. Jason Bartlett – 87; 4. Scott Zeron – 82; 5. Daniel Dube – 77.
Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. – 122; 2. Rene Allard – 77; 3. Ron Burke – 58; 4. Richard Banca – 51; 5. Erv Miller – 50.
Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King – 45; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC – 41.5; 3. D R Van Witzenburg – 40; 4. Robert Cooper Stables – 39.1; 5. Royal Wire Products – 37.
Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action resumes on May 18 at The Meadowlands Racetrack with the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open trotters and at Yonkers Raceway with eliminations in the Art Rooney for 3-year-old open pacers and the Lismore for 3-year-old filly pacers.