Campbellville, ON---The finest 3-year-old colt pacers on the continent will go postward Saturday (June 3) at Mohawk Racetrack in three eliminations for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, Canada’s richest harness race, on June 14.
Each $50,000 elimination will qualify the top three finishers for the final, with one of the fourth-place finishers drawn by lot also advancing. In total, 22 Cup hopefuls will be competing as they attempt to reach the 31st edition of the Cup, the richest pacing event in North America.
The elim winners also earn their connections the right to select a coveted post position before the balance of the field is drawn at a media luncheon on Tuesday (June 10) at Mohawk, when Dave Bolland, Toronto Maple Leafs forward, will be the guest drawmaster.
New Image Media Photos Luck Be Withyou drew post 2 in the third elimination.
The first elim at 8:05 p.m. is headed by JK Endofanera (PP1, Brian Sears), who is undefeated in three starts this year. The son of Art Major-Presidential Lady, trained by Ron Burke for owners 3 Brothers Stables of New York City, took his Somebeachsomewhere division last Saturday in 1:50. He’s won seven of 10 career starts, including last year’s Governor’s Cup at the Meadowlands, has never been worse than second and has earned more money ($451,057) than any of the other Cup hopefuls. Sears won the 2005 Cup with champion Rocknroll Hanover.
His challengers include Lyonssomewhere (PP6, Corey Callahan) and Western Vintage (PP3, Yannick Gingras). Lyonssomewhere, a son of 2008 Cup champion Somebeachsomewhere, is undefeated in four career starts for trainer Jimmy Takter and owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Burford, Ont.
Western Vintage, a son of Western Ideal-Major Harmony, is trained by Nancy Johansson for co-owners Marvin Katz of Toronto and Perry Soderberg of Hightstown, N.J. He most recently finished second to Doo Wop Hanover in a New Jersey Sire Stakes, but last year won five of eight starts, including a New Jersey Sire Stakes and was runner-up to Boomboom Ballykeel as the odds-on choice in the Metro.
Heading the second elim at 8:45 p.m. is Always B Miki (PP7, Corey Callahan), a comfortable 1-3/4-length winner of his Somebeachsomewhere division last Saturday as the 3-5 choice in a career best 1:50. The son of Always A Virgin-Artstopper has won five of 17 lifetime outings and $206,891 for trainer Joe Holloway, who conditioned 1992 Cup winner Safely Kept.
|Curtis Salonick Photo|
|Let's Drink On It drew post 4 in the second elimination.|
Trainer Casie Coleman, who won the 2010 Cup with Sportswriter, sends out Mcwicked (PP1, David Miller) for SSG Stables of North Boston, N.Y. The son of Mcardle-Western Sahara chased Always B Miki home last week, but has taken four of 13 starts.
Let's Drink On It (PP4, Tyler Smith), who had a three-race win streak snapped when finishing second as the odds-on choice to He's Watching in his Somebeachsomewhere division, will also get plenty of support. Trained by Joe Seekman, the son of Art Official-Letmedowneasy is a seven-time winner in 15 starts.
Sometimes Said (PP2, John Campbell) finished a neck behind Luck Be Withyou last year in the Breeders Crown. Trained by Jim Campbell, the son of 2009 Cup winner Well Said has earned $305,179, while winning only two of 13.
The third and final elimination at 10:05 p.m. brings together He's Watching (PP1, Jody Jamieson), Luck Be Withyou (PP2, Ron Pierce) and Doo Wop Hanover (PP6, John Campbell).
He's Watching, a son of American Ideal-Baberhood, blistered his mile last week in a Somebeachsomewhere division, defeating Let's Drink On It by 3-3/4 lengths in a career-best 1:49.3. Trained and co-owned by David Menary, Hes Watching suffered his only loss in 10 starts when debuting this year in an Art Rooney elim at Yonkers.
|He's Watching drew post 1 in the third elimination.|
Last year, he was a perfect eight for eight, capping his juvenile campaign with a romping win in a New York Sire Stakes. Jamieson first won the Cup in 2007 with Tell All, then scored again in 2011 with Up The Credit, trained and co-owned by his father, Carl.
Luck Be Withyou made his seasonal debut last week, finishing a strong second to JK Endofanera, a length behind. Trained by Bill Cass for owner John Craig of North York, Ont., the son of Western Ideal-Trim Hanover capped his 2-year-old year with victories in a Breeders Crown elim in a career-best 1:50 and final at Pocono Downs. He’s a five-time winner in 12 starts with earnings of $382,152. Driver Pierce has won two Cups, with Total Truth in 2006 and Well Said in 2009.
Doo Wop Hanover, trained by Steve Elliott, has won two of three this year, including a $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes last week at the Meadowlands in a life-best 1:50. He’s a son of 2005 Cup winner Rocknroll Hanover. Elliott trained 2009 Cup winner Well Said, while Campbell has won a record six Cups, the last by The Panderosa in 1999.
Also in this elim is last year’s surprising Metro Pace winner Boomboom Ballykeel (PP7, Sylvain Filion), trained by Richard Moreau for Ballykeel Racing of Tillsonburg, Ont., who finished a well-beaten fourth to He's Watching last week.
Saturday’s program also includes two eliminations for both the $400,000 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers and the $325,000 Roses Are Red Pace for fillies and mares. Both finals are also scheduled for June 14.
Since 1984, 17 of 30 Cup winners also captured their elimination, most recently Captaintreacherous in 2013. Before him, Up The Credit in 2011, Well Said in 2009 and Somebeachsomewhere in 2008 also managed the feat.
The Burlington Stakes (renamed the Somebeachsomewhere in 2011) has also proven to be a decent barometer for Cup success, as five of the last 14 Cup winners also won divisions of the stakes: Gallo Blue Chip (2000), Red River Hanover (2002), Total Truth (2006), Somebeachsomewhere (2008) and Up The Credit (2011). Last year’s Cup winner, Captaintreacherous, did not compete in the Somebeachsomewhere.
Last year, favoured Captaintreacherous flew home from fourth in midstretch to capture the 30th edition of the Cup in 1:48.3, scoring by 1-1/2 lengths. The stakes record at Mohawk is 1:47.4, set by Thinking Out Loud in 2012.
For additional event and race information, visit www.northamericacup.com.
Here are the line-ups and post times for the three eliminations:
Post Time: 8:05 p.m.
1/JK Endofanera/Brian Sears
2/Beat The Drum/Brett Miller
3/Western Vintage/Yannick Gingras
4/Limelight Beach/David Miller
7/Surprise Hanover/Jack Moiseyev
Post time: 8:45 p.m.
2/Sometimes Said/John Campbell
3/Ideal Cowboy/Tim Tetrick
4/Let's Drink On It/Tyler Smith
6/Melmerby Beach/Paul MacDonell
7/Always B Miki/Corey Callahan
8/Capital Account/Yannick Gingras
Post time: 10:05 p.m.
1/He's Watching/Jody Jamieson
2/Luck Be Withyou/Ron Pierce
4/Jet Airway/Scott Zeron
5/Silverhill Shadow/Jody Jamieson
6/Doo Wop Hanover/John Campbell
7/Boomboom Ballykeel/Sylvain Filion