From Woodbine Entertainment
CAMPBELLVILLE, June 7 – The finest three-year-old pacers in harness racing will go postward Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack in two eliminations for the 33rd Pepsi North America Cup.
A total of 18 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings have been split into a pair of $50,000 eliminations. The top five finishers from each nine-horse elimination will advance to the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup final on Saturday, June 18.
Elimination winners will have the opportunity to select their post for the final.
The Pepsi North America Cup is the richest harness race in Canada and the richest event for pacers in North America.
The first Cup elimination is stacked with talent.
Control The Moment, last year’s Metro Pace and O’Brien Award winner, has drawn post-three for driver Randy Waples and trainer Brad Maxwell. The son of 2009 Cup winner Well Said finished second in his season debut last Saturday in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes.
Control The Moment has over $480,000 in career earnings and a mark of 1:49.4 taken as a two-year-old.
Lyons Snyder, who defeated Control The Moment last Saturday, starts from post-four in the first split. The Mark Silva trainee has emerged as an early-season star with four wins in six starts after going winless last year.
Sylvain Filion will handle the driving duties behind the son of Well Said.
The best from Pennsylvania and Ontario will also compete in the first Cup elimination.
Ron Burke trainee Check Six will start from post-two, while Casie Coleman trainee Betting Line will leave from post-six.
A son of 2008 Cup winner Somebeachsomewhere, Check Six has won four of five starts this season, including the Pennsylvania Classic. The Burke trained colt enters the Cup with over $463,000 in career earnings and will have Yannick Gingras in the bike.
A son of 2001 Cup winner Bettors Delight, Betting Line is entering Saturday off a 1:50.1 victory in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere. The Coleman trained colt has won two of three starts this season after winning six of 12 last season, including a victory in the OSS Super Final.
Betting Line, a winner of over $594,000, will have David Miller in the sulky.
Highlandbeachycove (PP1, Scott Zeron) and Racing Hill (PP9, Brett Miller) give the Tony Alagna barn two starters in the first elimination.
Beast Mode (PP5, Sylvain Filion), Im Some Graduate (PP7, John Campbell) and Ideal Rocky (PP8, Corey Callahan) complete the field for the first division.
The first elimination has been carded as Race 5.
The second elimination is headlined by last year’s Dan Patch Award and Breeders Crown champion Boston Red Rocks.
The Steve Elliott trained colt has five victories in 12 career starts and earnings of over $710,000.
Boston Red Rocks, who has never finished worse than third in his career, has plenty of previous Cup success on his side. He is a son of 2005 Cup winner Rocknroll Hanover, his trainer Elliott won the 2009 Cup with Well Said and his driver Tim Tetrick has won two of the last three editions (Wakizashi Hanover, 2015 & Captaintreacherous, 2013).
Boston Red Rocks will start from post-two.
Big Top Hanover, who finished second to Boston Red Rocks in last year’s Breeders Crown, will also line up in the second elimination. The Burke trainee will start from post-six with driver Gingras. A winner of over $600,000, Big Top Hanover is winless in five starts this season, but has hit the board in each start.
Burke will also send out Manhattan Beach (PP7, Yannick Gingras) in the second split.
The Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) is well represented in the second elimination.
Nocturnal Bluechip (PP1, Paul MacDonell), Nvestment Bluechip (PP4, Jody Jamieson) and Magnum J (PP9, Doug McNair) are all previous OSS Gold division winners. The fourth Ontario sired horse in the field is Brookdale Sonny (PP3, Mike Saftic), who has won three of seven starts to begin his career.
Fresh off a solid second-place finish in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere, American Passport will start from post-eight with driver Scott Zeron . The Tony Alagna trainee is a multiple-Grand Circuit event winner.
Michaels Victory (PP5, Sylvain Filion) completes the field for the second elimination. The Silva trainee was a 1:49.1 winner two weeks ago in a New Jersey Sires Stakes division.
The second elimination has been carded as Race 7.
Since the inaugural Pepsi North America Cup in 1984, 17 of the 32 Cup winners have won their elimination. Last year’s champion Wakizashi Hanover won his elimination in 1:49.2 before capturing the final in 1:48.
Saturday’s Pepsi North America Cup eliminations card will also feature the eliminations for the Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red Stakes. Post time for the 12-race card is 7:30 p.m.
For full information regarding the 2016 Pepsi North America Cup, visit www.NorthAmericaCup.com
Here are the full fields for the Pepsi North America Cup eliminations.
1. Highlandbeachycove (Scott Zeron – Tony Alagna)
2. Check Six (Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke)
3. Control The Moment (Randy Waples – Brad Maxwell)
4. Lyons Snyder (Sylvain Filion – Mark Silva)
5. Beast Mode (Sylvain Filion – Robert Reid)
6. Betting Line (David Miller – Casie Coleman)
7. Im Some Graduate (John Campbell – Tom Cancelliere)
8. Ideal Rocky (Corey Callahan – John Butenschoen)
9. Racing Hill (Brett Miller – Tony Alagna)
1. Nocturnal Bluechip (Paul MacDonell – Mark Steacy)
2. Boston Red Rocks (Tim Tetrick – Steve Elliott)
3. Brookdale Sonny (Mike Saftic – Dr. Ian Moore)
4. Nvestment Bluechip (Jody Jamieson – Dave Menary)
5. Michaels Victory (Sylvain Filion – Mark Silva)
6. Big Top Hanover (Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke)
7. Manhattan Beach (Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke)
8. American Passport (Scott Zeron – Tony Alagna)
9. Magnum J (Doug McNair – Gregg McNair)