by Paul Ramlow, publicity director, the Grand Circuit
This Week: Red Mile Grand Circuit, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.
Schedule of events: The second week of Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile kicks off on Thursday (Oct. 4) with three divisions in the $275,600 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Oct. 5) card features five divisions in the $324,500 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters and four divisions in the $245,000 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Oct. 6) The Red Mile will host the $350,000 (est.) International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers, the $300,000 (est.) Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers and a pair of $150,000 (est.) Allerage races for open pacers and open trotters. On Sunday (Oct. 7), The Red Mile will offer the $600,000 (est.) Kentucky Futurity, the third leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the companion $300,000 (est.) Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $500,000 (est.) Tattersalls Pace for 3-year-old colt pacers, and $85,000 (est.) Allerage races for older pacing mares and older trotting mares.
Complete entries for the races are available at this link.
Last time: The Dayton Derbies, a pair of $150,000 Grand Circuit events, brought most of the best older horses in North America to Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway on Friday night (Sept. 28) producing an outstanding night of racing. The action resulted in four track records, including new all-age overall standards on both gaits in the two featured events.
Donttellmeagain (Tim Tetrick) obliterated the all-time fastest mile ever clocked at the 5-year-old Dayton Raceway, speeding to a 1:47.4 victory in the Dayton Pacing Derby. The old record was 1:48.4, a full second slower, established by State Treasurer in the 2015 Derby.
Western Fame (Brett Miller) gunned directly to the front in the Pacing Derby, speeding to the quarter in :25.2, seating Split The House (Scott Zeron) — who left with authority from the outermost post position — in the pocket. Shortly thereafter, Tetrick moved favored Donttellmeagain to the front to stay through subsequent fractional times of :52.3 and an eye-popping 1:20. A final panel in :27.4 resulted in a 1-1/4 length tally over Western Fame and McWicked (Brian Sears), who had a long overland grind the final half-mile.
“This horse isn’t real big, but he’s a real professional,” said Tetrick. “I’ve liked him since he was a baby…and the trainer (Jim King Jr.) does a terrific job with him.”
The 4-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again is owned by Paton Racing Stables. He now sports 18 wins in 33 lifetime starts, good for $589,911 in earnings.
Ariana G (Brian Sears), the only mare in a talented field for the Dayton Trotting Derby, lowered the overall track trotting record to 1:52.1 with an impressive triumph.
Sears was patient with Ariana G, allowing first I Know My Chip (Kayne Kauffman) and then eventual show finisher Guardian Angel AS (Matt Kakaley) to mix it up on the front end in :26.4 and then :54.4. Moving to the outer flow in second-over position, Ariana G moved up to fourth at the 1:23.1 three-quarters before besting a fast-closing Warrawee Roo (Daniel Dube) by a half-length in the record time.
“I knew they were trotting hard leaving the gate and I was content with my early position and those fractions,” Sears related in the winner’s circle. “Jimmy Takter (trainer) texted me that she was a versatile sweetheart, and he was definitely right.”
The 4-year-old winning daughter of Muscle Hill now has captured 26 of her 37 races and banked $2,367,709. She is owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.
Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website.
Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, 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 2018 Grand Circuit awards.
Here are the leaders following the past weekend.
Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick – 1,070.5; 2. Yannick Gingras – 1,045; 3. David Miller – 841.5; 4. Scott Zeron – 494; 5. Andrew McCarthy – 333.5.
Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 842.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 799; 3. Tony Alagna – 498.5; 4. Jim Campbell – 376; 5. Julie Miller – 300.
Owners: 1. Fashion Farms – 269; 2. Burke Racing Stable – 192.1; 3. Weaver Bruscemi – 179.5; 4. Robert Key – 172; 5. Brittany Farms – 166.5.
Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Yonkers Raceway, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Northfield Park and The Meadowlands. Yonkers will offer the Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino for free-for-all trotters; Harrah’s Philadelphia will host the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits; Northfield will host the Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers; and The Meadowlands will feature the fourth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits.
- Big week for Avritt in Lexington (Wednesday, October 03, 2018)
It’s been nearly 23 years since Jim Avritt Sr. bought Dominique Semalu to serve as a broodmare, but Avritt is reminded regularly about the impact she’s had on his life. Dominique Semalu’s impact is apparent this week in Lexington. On Tuesday night, Avritt sold pacer Tall Dark Stranger for $330,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. The colt is the second foal out of Avritt’s homebred star Precocious Beauty, whose granddam is Dominique Semalu. Precocious Beauty’s first foal, now 2-year-old filly Beautyonthebeach (above), is a Kentucky Sire Stakes champion and races Friday in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Red Mile. In addition, Precocious Beauty’s full sister, Prescient Beauty, also races in a division of the International Stallion.