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North America Cup Eligibles Surface

Published: April 17, 2015 8:46 am ET

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A trio of North America Cup-eligible colts garnered much of the attention during a busy session of qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack.

The conditions were ideal for Thursday’s qualifying session over a ‘Fast’ Mohawk racing surface and the nice weather was not the only signal that stakes season is just around the corner.

More than 80 three-year-olds were entered for Thursday’s qualifiers. The fifth qualifier featured a pair of N.A. Cup eligibles, as Pierce Hanover and The Wayfaring Man highlighted a field of seven.

The Wayfaring Man and driver Jack Moiseyev were the quickest away and the led the field by the opening-quarter in :28. Pierce Hanover, who got away second, was quickly pulled from the two-hole by driver Jody Jamieson to take the lead as they entered the backstretch.

However, Pierce Hanover would make a break approaching the half-mile pole and was taken to the inside by Jamieson. The break by the leader put The Wayfaring Man back in control.

After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:25.3, The Wayfaring Man paced home strongly in :27.2 to win his first qualifier of the season in 1:53.

A son of Dragon Again, The Wayfaring Man is owned by Bruno Comegna and trained by Nicky Comegna. Last season, The Wayfaring Man won two of seven starts, including the Dream Maker Series final. He finished 2014 with just under $50,000 in earnings and a speed-mark of 1:52.2.

Following his break down the backstretch, Pierce Hanover did reset and finished sixth. He was individually timed in 1:57.

A son of Cams Card Shark, Pierce Hanover won four of 11 starts last season, including an elimination of the Governors Cup, and banked over $123,000. He is owned by Ralph and Ken Sucee.

Along with the Pepsi North America Cup, both The Wayfaring Man and Pierce Hanover are eligible to the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes on June 6.

The next qualifier featured the third N.A. Cup eligible of the morning. The Jeff Gillis-trained Arque Hanover successfully won his first qualifier of 2015 in 1:55.2.

Driven by Randy Waples, Arque Hanover got away in mid-pack and would make the march towards the lead in the middle-half.

After overtaking the lead around the final turn, Arque Hanover reached the three-quarter pole in 1:28.4 and then paced home strongly in :27.1 to win.

Sporting The Look, who won multiple Gold divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes and banked more than $178,000 last season at age two, finished third and was timed in 1:56.1.

A son of Rock N Roll Heaven, Arque Hanover is owned by Gillis, Gerald Stay, Mac Nichol and Big Als Stable. Last season, he won three of 10 starts for earnings of just over $66,000 and took a speed mark of 1:52.2.

Arque Hanover is also eligible to the Somebeachsomewhere.

While many eyes were locked on the sophomores Thursday morning, a four-year-old pacer turned in arguably the best performance of the day.

Melmerby Beach and trainer/driver Paul MacDonell paced the quickest mile of the morning with a 1:52.1 victory. The four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere overtook the lead in the second-quarter and set fractions of :57 and 1:25, before pacing home for the victory in :27.1.

Thursday morning’s qualifier was the second of the year for Melmerby Beach, who won six of 18 starts last year and banked over $167,000 for owners Schooner II Stable.

Five-year-old Shamballa and trainer/driver Rick Zeron came flying from the back with a :26.2 last-quarter to finish second to Melmerby Beach. This was Shamballa’s first charted line of the season.

Last year, Shamballa won seven of 17 starts for earnings of $93,990. All seven of the Zeron trainee’s wins came during a stretch of eight starts over the course of three months last summer at Mohawk.

Qualifiers will once again be held next Thursday morning at 10 a.m. The following week, an additional qualifying morning of Mondays will be added to the regular schedule.

To view the charted lines from all of Mohawk's Thursday qualifiers, click the following link: .

(with files from WEG)

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