The Grand Circuit’s weekly overview highlights the upcoming historic Gold Cup & Saucer and action-packed Sun Stakes Saturday.
This Week: Earl Beal Memorial, Max C. Hempt Memorial, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, James Lynch Memorial and Delmonica Hanover, Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre, and Gold Cup and Saucer final, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Schedule of Events: A busy Saturday afternoon (Aug. 21) of Grand Circuit racing for 3-year-olds will happen at Pocono with main events and consolations for the Earl Beal Memorial (colt and gelding trot), Max C. Hempt Memorial (colt and gelding pace), James Lynch Memorial (filly pace) and Delmonica Hanover (filly trot).
The Beal has a $300,000 main event and a $200,000 consolation: the Hempt additionally has a $300,000 main event and $200,000 and $100,000 consolations. Both the Lynch and Delmonica Hanover feature $250,000 main events and $125,000 consolations.
Also on Saturday, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino will host the C$60,000 Gold Cup and Saucer final for older pacers.
Last Time: Ohio-born Charlie May crossed the wire a fantastic champion in Saturday’s (Aug. 14) $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial, a Grand Circuit event against some of the best sophomore pacers in North America, at MGM Northfield Park.
He and driver Brett Miller went to the gate off the heels of being disqualified after winning the $700,000 Meadowlands Pace only 4 weeks before.
Charlie May began from post seven and remained fifth through the opening :26 quarter.
“We got a little bit lucky in the first turn to find a seat,” explained Miller.
Charlie May was in the flow, third over, though still in fifth position at the :53.2 half-mile mark. Miller called upon Charlie May in the third quarter, tipping three-wide and accelerating at an amazing speed, arriving in the lead at the three-quarter pole in 1;20.4. He continued to pull away from the others, winning by 4-3/4 lengths in 1:48.4. The clocking was a track and world record for sophomore gelded pacers on a half-mile track.
“Once he (Charlie May) made the front he kind of let up,” explained Miller. “He would have gone faster if he had someone to pass.”
Charlie May (McArdle-Stipple Hanover) is owned by Don Tiger. Steve Carter trains him at his property in Londonderry, Ohio.
“It is very sweet to win this race here in Ohio,” stated Carter. “This horse shows up every week and always does his work.”
Saturday’s victory is the 12th lifetime score for Charlie May. The win pushes his earnings to $728,477.
After in succession following Charlie May were Mysweetboymax, Rockin On Venus, Water Sports Teen, Bettor Sun, Chase H Hanover, Bayfield Beach, Heart Of Chewbacca and Alilthundadownunda.
Charlie May returned $4.60 to win.
The race was in honor of Carl Milstein, who owned and run Northfiled Park from 1984 till his death in 1999. It’s the richest invitational event in harness racing for pacers.
Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be followed on a points system (20-10-5 for those who take the top three positions in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs0. Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2021 Grand Circuit awards.
Here are the leaders (through the races on 8-14-21):
Drivers: 1. Dexter Dunn – 528; 2. Yannick Gingras – 495; 3. Tim Tetrick – 407; 4. David Miller – 395; 5. Andrew McCarthy – 369.5.
Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 683; 2. Nancy Takter – 346; 3. Tony Alagna – 303.5; 4. Marcus Melander – 256; 5. Ake Svanstedt – 222.
Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable – 133.4; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 122.2; 3. Courant Inc. – 117; 4. Black Horse Racing – 108.4; 5. Brad Grant – 100.2.
Looking Ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Vernon Downs and Woodbine Mohawk Park. Vernon will contest the Zwieg Memorial races for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters. Woodbine Mohawk Park will contest multiple stakes including the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old male pacers, the Simcoe for 3-year-old filly pacers, the Nassagaweya for 2-year-old male pacers and the Eternal Camnation for 2-year-old filly pacers.
In addition, the schedule includes Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old male and female trotters and Roses Are Red eliminations for older female pacers.