Breeders Crown eliminations lead busy Grand Circuit weekOctober 20, 2022,
This Week: Breeders Crown eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ont.; John Simpson Stakes, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.; and The Pegasus, Harrah’s Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.
Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week commences on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 20) at Harrah’s Philadelphia with three divisions in the $104,010 John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Oct. 21) card features two divisions in the $93,200 John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Sunday (Oct. 23), there will be two divisions in the $106,600 John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters.
Hoosier Park on Friday (Oct. 21) will host The Pegasus for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be two divisions in the $57,000 3-year-old colt trot; two divisions in the $55,000 3-year-old colt pace; two divisions in the $54,000 3-year-old filly trot; and a single $50,000 division in the 3-year-old filly pace.
Breeders Crown eliminations at Mohawk will take place on Friday (Oct. 21) and Saturday (Oct. 22). Friday will feature a pair of $25,000 races for 2-year-old males of both gaits. a pair of $25,000 races for 2-year-old filly pacers, and a single $25,000 elimination for 2-year-old filly trotters. Saturday features a pair of $25,000 eliminations in the Mare Pace, the 3-year-old male pace, the 3-year-old male trot, and the 3-year-old filly trot.
Complete entries for the Philadelphia and Hoosier races are available at this link. Complete entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link.
Last time: Cokstile, representing Norway and sent off at odds of 20-1, rallied off a hot tempo and drew clear in the stretch to win Saturday afternoon’s (Oct. 15) $1 million MGM Yonkers International Trot in 2:23 for the mile and a quarter.
Denmark’s Ecurie D (Ake Svanstedt) went right to the lead from post five and led his nine rivals by open lengths through fractions of :27.4, :55.2, and 1:24, with Tycoonconwayhall (Kasper Foget) gapped in the pocket and Cokstile (Vincenzo Dell’Annunziata) behind him in third. The outer tier was led by a parked-out Stoletheshow (Frode Hamre), but he couldn’t keep touch with Ecurie D and clogged the flow.
Going to three-quarters, Tim Tetrick sent Back Of The Neck three-wide off the cover of Stoletheshow to take up the first-over position, and Cokstile would have room to slide off the pylons to follow him.
Ecurie D clung to the lead at the 1:54.2 mile mark, but he would be passed by both a two-wide Back Of The Neck and a three-wide Cokstile beyond that marker. Back Of The Neck and Cokstile dueled around the last turn after overhauling Ecurie D, but it was clear late on the bend that Cokstile had more to give, and he showed that in the stretch as he powered away to score by four lengths. Back Of The Neck was second, It’s Academic (David Miller) rallied from well off the pace for third, and Lovedbythemasses (Todd McCarthy) collected fourth. Kennedy (Jason Bartlett) finished fifth.
“It’s unbelievable for him, the owners, and the trainer. The owners, they spend money, they invested to buy this horse in Norway,” Dell’Annunziata said through an interpreter. “It was an advantage for him that the race was very fast to the half-mile because he’s a strong horse. When he saw that the second horse was not fresh, he moved to go behind (Back Of The Neck). He knew here that that’s the time. He pushed the horse and opened up.
“He loves New York, he loves the race, and he loves the people that organized this big race. For him, it’s fantastic.”
A winner of races around the globe, including the 2020 Elitloppet, Cokstile is a 9-year-old stallion by Quite Easy and is trained by Mattia Orlando for owner Scuderia Santese SRL. Cokstile posted his 28th career victory, and he has now earned $2,004,432.
Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. For a list of 2022 race winners on the Grand Circuit, click here.
Grand Circuit Standings: In 2022, 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 2022 Grand Circuit awards.
Here are the leaders (through the races on 10-16-22):
Drivers: 1. Dexter Dunn – 1,328; 2. Tim Tetrick – 908; 3. Yannick Gingras – 876; 4. Todd McCarthy – 694; 5. David Miller – 687.
Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 782; 2. Tony Alagna – 652; 3. Ake Svanstedt – 614; 4. Brett Pelling – 439; 5. Marcus Melander – 406.
Owners: 1. David McDuffee – 180.9; 2. Brad Grant – 169; 3. Caviart Farms – 166; 4. Courant Inc. – 154; 5. Crawford Farms Racing – 141.6.
Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next week at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Harrah’s Hoosier Park, and Harrah’s Philadelphia. Mohawk 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 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits.