by Frank Carulli
February 5, 2018
More than $9 million in stakes purses will be awarded during the Meadowlands' 2018 Grand Circuit season.
The 93rd running of the $1 million Hambletonian on Saturday, Aug. 4 and the $650,000 Meadowlands Pace on Saturday, July 14 will once again be the headline attractions during the Championship Meet.
But the Fall Meet will have its share of marquee races when it begins on October 12. The $1.5 million Freshman Final Four and $750,000 Kindergarten Classic provide a late-season stage for the top 2-year-olds, while the $1.1 million TVG finals in November feature hard-hitting older horses.
In action at the Big M last weekend, trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras teammed for six wins, including Saturday's $20,000 preferred pace with Starznheaven in 1:50.2. Both played a big role in the new Survivor Pick 10 sequence, as a winning 20-cent wager Friday and Saturday returned more than $17,000.
IN THE XPRESSLANE: Western Fair District's signature race for the last 25 years -- the Molson Pace -- has been renamed the Camluck Classic. The $150,000 pace for older horses will be held May 26 and honor the late world champion and most prolific stallion in Canadian harness racing history. "Camluck helped put this area on the harness racing map and we think it's fitting that the race be named in his honor," said Director of Racing Greg Blanchard. ... Something Said, a $12,500 claim by trainer Bobby Glassmeyer in December, won his sixth consecutive race in a lifetime best 1:49.3 at Dover Downs Thursday, pushing his career earnings to $559,565. ... Foiled Again led most of the way but just missed in a 3-horse blanket finish in his second attempt at career win No. 100 at Yonkers Raceway last Thursday. It was the 306th start for the 14-year-old gelding, who has earned more than $7.5 million. ... Sanattle Slew and M G Kid, both sons of Santanna Blue Chip, finished in a dead heat for the win in a $20,000 claiming race at Miami Valley last Saturday.