Grand Circuit to Harrah’s Philadelphia

This Week: Maxie Lee Memorial, Besty Ross and Joe Auger Memorial, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.

Schedule of events: Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sunday (May 26) will feature the $100,000 Maxie Lee Memorial for open trotters, the $100,000 Besty Ross for older pacing mares and the $100,000 Joe Auger Memorial for older pacing horses.

Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link.

Last Time: Jiggy Jog S picked up right where she left off.

Jiggy Jog S and driver Dexter Dunn won the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial. Lisa photo.

The 2023 Breeders Crown and FanDuel winner, who finished off last year with a four-race win streak, extended her success to five victories in a row Saturday (May 18) at The Meadowlands by taking the first major event on The Big M’s bloated stakes calendar, the $145,150 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for open trotters.

There wasn’t much in the way of action during the opening half, as Hillexotic (Yannick Gingras), Asteroid (Tim Tetrick), Dover In Motion (David Miller) and Jiggy Jog S (Dexter Dunn) lined up 1-2-3-4 past the quarter in :27.3 and half in :55.3.

Just after the half, Dover In Motion was moved to the outside by Miller. Dunn put Jiggy Jog S right behind that one as the duo quickly made up ground on the leader, with Dover In Motion almost on even terms with Hillexotic at three-quarters, which went in 1:23.3.

Jiggy was now ready to jog.

With a little more than an eighth-of-a-mile to go, Dunn tipped the Ake Svanstedt trainee off her live cover and trotted past Dover In Motion in a thoroughly flawless performance, hitting the finish two lengths in front of a fast-closing Asteroid (another Svanstedt student). Dover In Motion settled for third. The final time of 1:50 equaled Jiggy Jog S’s lifetime best.

A 5-year-old daughter of Walner-Hot Mess Hanover, Jiggy Jog S returned $3.80 to her backers as the 4-5 favorite. She now has 19 wins from 36 career starts, good for earnings of $2,236,677 for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Steve Stewart, John Lengacher and Hickory Hollow Stables.

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

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2024, 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 2024 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders (through the races on 5-18-24):

Drivers: 1. Matt Kakaley – 137; 2. Yannick Gingras – 114.5; 3. Jason Bartlett – 101.5; 4. George Brennan – 59; 5. Jordan Stratton – 55.

Trainers: 1. Travis Alexander – 112; 2. Per Engblom – 55.5; 3. Ricky Bucci – 52; 4. Cory Stratton – 50; 5. Pat Lachance – 47.

Owners: 1. Guy Corbeil – 57; 2. Kathy Cecchin – 45; 3. Mark Ford – 42; 4t. Symmetry Stables – 30; 4t. Flatland Racing – 30.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at The Raceway at Western Fair District (Camluck Classic for older open pacers) and Woodbine Mohawk Park (first legs of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and trotters, the second leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares and the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old pacers).

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