Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And NotesThe Red Mile’s Grand Circuit meet is the focus of the sport for the next two weeks. The weekend was filled with Bluegrass stakes for two- and three-year-olds of both gaits.
The biggest news this week is that the Breeders Crown series will return to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in 2013. We were on site in 2010 at the Pennsylvania track to report on both weekends—elims and finals—and hope to be there again with the press corps next year, exclusively for TwinSpires in league with the Hambletonian Society, which handles the series. We will cover this year’s series at Woodbine live but not on site.
Tom Charters, president of the Hambletonian Society, was enthusiastic about the partnership.
“The opportunity to return to Pocono Downs in 2013 is very exciting,” he said. “Mohegan Sun and the Pennsylvania horsemen were terrific hosts in 2010.
“Building on that memorable record-breaking night [in 2010], the Hambletonian Society is looking forward to partnering with them again on what will be a spectacular event for the entire harness industry.”
Pocono was the first track to host all 12 races on a single program, worth $6 million.
Western Fair in Canada opens Oct. 12 with a 7:05 p.m. EST post. The London, Ontario oval will host racing every Monday and Tuesday at 4:05 p.m. and Friday and Saturday nights at 7:05 p.m. through Dec. 31. The first major race on the schedule will be the $200,000 (est.) Forest City Pace for pacing mares, slated for Saturday, Nov. 17.
Herve Filion has accepted an invitation from Rideau-Carleton Raceway to drive on its Sunday, Oct. 7 program. The 72-year-old will make his first Canadian driving appearance in over a decade.
Filion, a native of Quebec, has spent most of his life living and racing in New York. He sits second in North American in lifetime victories with 15,180, his record being surpassed this year by Dave Palone. His career earnings are nearly $90 million.
In the standardbred industry’s Top Ten poll, the filly Check Me Out continues to maintain first place. It is uncommon for a soph-filly trotter to hold the first spot, no less keep it for as long as has Ray Schnittker’s dynamic filly.
One horse that is eligible but won’t be racing in the Breeders Crown is For A Dancer. The soph-filly trotters connections announced they are retiring her for health reasons. She had a pretty good go at the races at two and three. She won the Lady Suffolk in May and an Empire Breeders Classic elim and final in June but she was never a challenge to the division’s super filly, Check Me Out.
Cartoon by Thom Pye