Grand Circuit to Red Mile and Plainridge

This Week: Red Mile Grand Circuit, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky., and Colonial and Reynolds Memorial, Plainridge Park, Plainville, Mass.

Schedule of events: The second week of Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile kicks off on Friday (Oct. 6) with five divisions in the $341,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt trotters and three divisions in the $254,500 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers.

On Saturday (Oct. 7), The Red Mile will host four divisions in the $348,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters and four divisions in the $285,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers.

On Sunday (Oct. 8), The Red Mile will offer the $450,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters, the companion $320,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old filly trotters, two divisions in the $472,000 Tattersalls Pace for 3-year-old colt pacers, two divisions in the $230,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $138,500 Allerage for open pacers, the $135,000 Allerage for open trotters, the $69,500 Allerage for older pacing mares and the $57,000 Allerage for older trotting mares.

Grand Circuit racing at Plainridge Park will take place on Monday (Oct. 9) with the $61,550 Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old colt pacers, the $61,450 Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers and the $51,100 Colonial for 3-year-old filly trotters.

Complete entries for the races are available at this link.

Last time: Harness racing’s current No. 1-ranked horse Confederate seized the lead midway through the race and plowed home to a 1:47.3 victory in the first of three divisions of the $219,000 Captaintreacherous Bluegrass Stakes, for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings, on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 30) at The Red Mile.

Confederate carried the Diamond Creek colors to the winning post with a sparkling 1:47.3 win in the first division of the Bluegrass for sophomore male pacers. Amanda Stephens photo.

Confederate cleared control after Ken Hanover clocked a :27.2 first quarter and took the field to the half in :54.1. Gradually, driver Tim Tetrick gave Confederate his head and the Sweet Lou colt hit three-quarters in 1:22.1 and lifted flight in the stretch. Ken Hanover tried to answer Confederate’s final quarter sprint but settled for second, beaten 2-1/2 lengths, with Huntinthelastdolar grabbing third another five lengths back.

“I’m getting chills driving him. He’s awesome,” Tetrick said. “I didn’t really have a plan. I was kind of playing off (Christchurch) because he can be hot (and) I wanted to stay close to Ken (Hanover) no matter what. I just kind of played it by feel and we got it done. He’s done everything right, and everybody says, ‘He can’t go on the lead,’ but he can go on the lead. I just like him chasing better.”

The victory continues a dominant campaign from Confederate, who has now won 14 races from 17 career starts and earned $1,558,129 for owner-breeder Diamond Creek Racing. The Brett Pelling trainee paid $2.16 to win.

Another Diamond Creek-bred in Cannibal later delivered on an odds-on promise with a 1:48.4 victory in the second division of the Captaintreacherous. Racking up his 13th win from 21 career starts, Cannibal has banked $514,978 for owner Diamond Creek Racing. Nancy Takter trains the colt by Sweet Lou and Yannick Gingras sat in the bike. He paid $2.76 to win.

Diamond Creek Racing completed a sweep of the Captaintreacherous Bluegrass Stakes when its homebred Command clung to a 1:47.4 victory after following heated numbers. Brett Pelling trains Command, a Captaintreacherous gelding who won his eighth race from 22 career starts and has now earned $342,339. Todd McCarthy steered the $5.60 winner.

Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. For a list of 2023 race winners on the Grand Circuit, click here.

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2023, 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 2023 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders (through the races on 9-30-23):

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 879; 2. David Miller – 764; 3. Dexter Dunn – 757; 4. Scott Zeron – 710; 5. Tim Tetrick – 705.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,076; 2. Ake Svanstedt – 759; 3. Tony Alagna – 471; 4. Nancy Takter – 428; 5. Linda Toscano – 367.

Owners: 1. Diamond Creek Racing – 309.3; 2. Burke Racing Stable – 220.9; 3. Hudson Standardbred Stable – 165.8; 4. Weaver Bruscemi – 153.1; 5. Mark Ford – 148.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at MGM Northfield Park, as the track will host the Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers.

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