OffTrackBetting.com - Harness Racing action heads north of the border this weekend! Betting Line and Boston Red Rocks, both impressive winners of last weekend's eliminations, headline a field of 10 for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack.
The 33rd edition of the world's richest pacing event, showcasing the finest three-year-olds on the continent, will go postward at 10:40 p.m. EDT and will be shown live on TSN2 in a special one-hour presentation from 10:00 - 11:00 p.m. ET. The winner earns $500,000. It marks the 16th year of Pepsi's sponsorship.
Post positions were drawn today at Mohawk, with Toronto Maple Leafs' 2015 first round draft pick (fourth overall) Mitch Marner as the guest drawmaster.
Last Saturday, two eliminations were needed to determine the field for the final. The top five finishers in each qualified. It was the first time since 2012 that just two elims were held. That year, Dapper Dude and Sweet Lou won the elims, but it was Thinking Out Loud, a third place elim finisher, who won the final in a stakes record time of 1:47.4.
The elim winners also earned their connections the right to choose a post position before the balance of the field was drawn. Seventeen of the past 32 Cup winners won their elimination.
2016 North America Cup Entries at Mohawk Racetrack
Betting Line, trained by Casie Coleman and driven by Dave Miller, scored by three-quarters of a length over Lyons Snyder in a career best 1:49.1 in the faster first elim last Saturday.
Coleman had the opportunity to select first and picked post four for Betting Line Saturday.
A son of 2001 Cup winner Bettors Delight, Betting Line has three wins in four starts this year and nine overall for Ontario owners West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Christine Calhoun of Chatham and Mac Nichol of Burlington. Coleman won the 2010 Cup with Sportswriter while Miller is still looking for his first Cup-winning drive in his 16th attempt. Miller has been second twice and third three times, though, in the Cup final.
Last year, Betting Line banked $540,422, winning six of 12 outings, including several Ontario Sires Stakes and the Champlain, while also finishing second in the Metro Pace.
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Boston Red Rocks, a son of 2005 Cup winner Rocknroll Hanover, will be driven by Tim Tetrick for trainer Steve Elliott. Paul Reid, representing Steve Elliott, selected post three for the son of 2005 Cup winner Rocknroll Hanover.
Last year's divisional champion and the field's leading money winner, with $735,418 earned, won by a half-length over Big Top Hanover in 1:50.3 last Saturday. It was his second win this season in four trips after coming off a banner juvenile campaign which saw him earn $669,918 while taking the Breeders Crown and Governor's Cup for his Floridian owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks.
Tetrick has won two Cups, with Captaintreacherous in 2013 and last year with Wakizashi Hanover while Elliot trained 2009 Cup winner Well Said.
Lyons Snyder, a son of the aforementioned Well Said, finished second in last week's elim to Betting Line and drew post two for Saturday's race.
Trained by Mark Silva for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York and Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Brantford, Ontario, Lyons Snyder has won four of seven races this year, including a division of the Somebeachsomewhere on June 4 in a career best 1:49. He was winless in five starts as a rookie.
Snyder has won four Cups as either owner or co-owner - Cams Card Shark (1994), Red River Hanover (2002), Rocknroll Hanover (2005) and Well Said (2009).
Silva will also send out Michaels Victory, also owned by Snyder, who finished third to Boston Red Rocks in his elim. The son of Rocknroll Hanover, a three-time winner in 11 starts, will be driven by Scott Zeron and start from post five.
Control The Momentsss, another son of Well Said, trained by Brad Maxwell and driven by Randy Waples, enters off a fourth-place finish to Betting Line in his elim. With two starts under his belt this season, the Maxwell trainee will start from post nine in the Cup.
Last year, Control The Moment, owned by Philadelphia's Control The Moment Stable, enjoyed great success, winning eight of nine for $461,457 in earnings. His biggest victory was the Metro Pace.
Waples drove Thinking Out Loud to a memorable Cup triumph in 2012.
Trainer Ron Burke, who conditioned 2014 Cup winner JK Endofanera, has two hopefuls in Big Top Hanover and Manhattan Beach.
Big Top Hanover, with Yannick Gingras, finished a closing second to Boston Red Rocks in his elim and has drawn the rail for Saturday night. The Burke trainee has four runner-up finishes this year, to go along with two thirds in seven starts.
The son of Western Ideal, co-owned by Burke Racing Stable as well, had an excellent two-year-old season, earning $490,880 while winning four of 15 starts, highlighted by a victory in the Matron and a runner-up finish in the Breeders Crown.
Manhattan Beach, a son of 2008 Cup winner Somebeachsomewhere, was fifth to Boston Red Rocks last Saturday and is a two-time winner in 15 career starts. Corey Callahan will drive the Burke student and start from post eight.
Tony Alagna, who trained 2013 Cup winner Captaintreacherous, has Racing Hill in the final, after a third place finish to Betting Line in his elim. Although winless in three starts this year, Racing Hill won five of 10 last year for owner Tom Hill of Hamilton. Brett Miller, who has twice finished second in the Cup - with We Will See in 2010 and Tellitlikeitis in 2014 - will drive the son of Roll With Joe. Racing Hill starts from post six.
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Magnum J, co-owned and trained by Gregg McNair of Guelph, with son Doug McNair in the bike, drew post ten. The son of Big Jim finished fourth to Betting Line last week and is a three-time winner. Beast Mode, a five-time winner from 16 starts for owner-trainer Christopher Nicol of Waterdown, Ontario, landed post seven. The son of Rock N Roll Heaven finished fifth to Betting Line in his elim and will be driven by Trevor Henry.
In 2012, Thinking Out Loud set the stakes record of 1:47.4 at Mohawk, eclipsing the former mark of 1:48.1 established by Well Said in 2009. Hall of Famer Bettors Delight has won the race by the largest margin, four and one-half lengths, in 2001.
Other winners of the Cup, which began in 1984 at Greenwood Raceway, include champions Jate Lobell (1987), Precious Bunny (1991), Presidential Ball (1993), Cams Card Shark (1994), Gallo Blue Chip (2000), Rocknroll Hanover (2005), Somebeachsomewhere (2008) and Captaintreacherous (2013).
The Cup was raced at Greenwood from 1984-93, followed by Woodbine from 1994-2006. It was held at Mohawk Racetrack for the first time in 2007. The shortest-priced winners, at $2.70, are Jate Lobell and Presidential Ball, while Goalie Jeff, in 1989, provided the highest win payoff, $93.60.
Mohawk will offer three Pick-4 wagers Saturday, including an All Stakes Pick-4 with a $100,000 guaranteed pool, comprising Races 9 through 12 and featuring the Roses Are Red, Mohawk Gold Cup, Fan Hanover and Pepsi North America Cup.
The $370,000 Roses Are Red for filly and mare pacers is headed by elim winners Anndrovette, Lady Shadow and Solar Sister. The incomparable nine-year-old Anndrovette is a three-time winner of the stake, has earned over $3.5 million and will be seeking a 46th career win in her 136th start.
The $438,000 Fan Hanover for three-year-old pacing fillies includes elim winners Good Will Hanover and Darlinonthebeach, along with last year's divisional champions L A Delight and Pure Country.
Post time for the first of 15 races on the Pepsi North America Cup card is 6:30 p.m. Here is the field for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup
2016 North America Cup Post Positions
PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer1. Big Top Hanover (Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke) 6-1 2. Lyons Snyder (Yannick Gingras - Mark Silva) 4-1 3. Betting Line (David Miller - Casie Coleman) 5-2 4. Boston Red Rocks (Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott) 3-1 5. Michaels Victory (Scott Zeron - Mark Silva) 12-1 6. Racing Hill (Brett Miller - Tony Alagna) 10-1 7. Beast Mode (Trevor Henry - Christopher Nicol) 20-1 8. Manhattan Beach (Corey Callahan - Ron Burke) 15-1 9. Control The Moment (Randy Waples - Brad Maxwell) 8-1 10. Magnum J (Doug McNair - Gregg McNair) 15-1 AE: American Passport (Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna)�e<
Source: Woodbine Entertainment Press Release