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Grand Circuit Moves To Freehold

Published: April 25, 2018 6:42 pm ET

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The publicity department for the Grand Circuit has sent out its weekly recap and preview of Grand Circuit races.

This Week: Dexter Cup elimination, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Freehold this week features a $44,600 Dexter Cup elimination for three-year-old open trotters on Saturday (April 28).

A total of 11 horses dropped into the box for the Dexter, with Don, Maxus and Perlucky earning byes into next week's final. The remaining eight horses will contest the single elimination, with the top five advancing to the final.

Last time: Keystone Velocity won his second consecutive George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series championship, moving to the lead as the field reached the quarter-mile point and retaining the top spot every step of the way from there to defeat Bit Of A Legend N by one length in 1:52 at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday, April 21. Somewhere In L A finished third, and Mach It So was fourth in the $532,000 event for older male pacers.

Western Fame, who started from post one, led the field around the first turn, followed by Dr J Hanover and Keystone Velocity. Dan Dubé then put Keystone Velocity in gear and brushed to the front and recorded fractions of :26.4, :56.2, and 1:23.4 on his way to the win.

Keystone Velocity, a 10-year-old stallion, joins Foiled Again as the only back-to-back winners of the Levy. Foiled Again accomplished the feat in 2009 and 2010.

“He’s a very nice horse,” Dubé said. “For sure he’s better with cover, from behind, but you can do whatever you want with him. When I went to the front and got a breather, it was good.”

Keystone Velocity, last year’s Dan Patch Award winner for best older male pacer, has won two of six races this year and earned $320,000. For his career, the son of Western Hanover out of Venus Killean has won 29 of 116 starts and earned $1.64 million.

Rene Allard trains Keystone Velocity for owners Allard Racing, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr. and VIP Internet Stable.

An equipment change helped keep Shartin N going straight and propelled her straight to victory in Saturday’s $373,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series championship for older female pacers at Yonkers Raceway. The mare posted a 4-1/2 length victory over Sell A Bit N in 1:52.2. Motu Moonbeam N was third.

Shartin N was fourth in the early portion of the race, trailing leader Sell A Bit N, Medusa and Lakeisha Hall. Driver Tim Tetrick moved Shartin N to the front just past the halfway point and never looked back. The fractions for the mile were :27.2, :57, and 1:24.

Trainer Jim King Jr. made several changes to Shartin N prior to Saturday’s race—the most significant, he said, being the addition of a Murphy blind.

“It took right up to tonight to get it done,” King said. “We worked on her a lot at home and made some changes. We came up here and warmed her up a couple trips and made some more changes. We put our heads together and came up with a plan, and here we are. We did so many different things. The biggest thing was adding the Murphy blind to her to get her to go straight and stop her from being so fussy. I warmed her up a hard trip before we raced to take some of the sting out of her.”

Added Tetrick, “With the Murphy blind it straightened her up and (King) did a great job. He had her on ‘go’ tonight.”
Shartin N is a five-year-old daughter of Tintin In America out of Bagdarin. She is owned by Richard Poillucci and JoAnn Looney-King. The mare has won eight of 10 races this year and earned $292,875.

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 at Yonkers:

Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick – 129; 2. Jordan Stratton - 119; 3t. Jason Bartlett – 84; 3t. Yannick Gingras – 84; 5. Daniel Dubé - 65.
Trainers: 1. Peter Tritton – 102; 2. Ron Burke – 76; 3. Richard Banca – 75; 4. Jim King Jr. – 69; 5. Rene Allard - 65.
Owners: 1. Von Knoblauch Stable - 87; 2. Richard Poillucci - 34; 3. JoAnn Looney-King – 30; 4t. Brittany Farms – 25; 4t. Diamond Creek Racing – 25; 4t. Friendship Stables – 25.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Freehold Raceway, Meadowlands Racetrack, and Miami Valley Raceway. Freehold has the Lady Suffolk for three-year-old filly trotters and the Dexter Cup for three-year-old open trotters on Saturday, May 5; Meadowlands Racetrack will host the Cutler Memorial for older trotters and the first leg of the Graduate for four-year-old pacers on Saturday, May 5; and Miami Valley Raceway features the Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares and older pacing mares on Monday, May 7.

(Grand Circuit)


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