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N.A. Cup Eligibles Qualify In Ohio

Published: April 17, 2019 8:48 pm ET

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A quartet of Pepsi North America Cup eligibles — led by a trio from the Midwestern powerhouse stable of Brian Brown — led a 13-race qualifying session on Wednesday afternoon (April 17) at Miami Valley Raceway.

Proof, ranked seventh in TROT Magazine's 2019 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book at early odds of 17-1, qualified in 1:53.1 in his first appearance since a runner-up finish to Captain Crunch in last year's Breeders Crown. The three-year-old son of A Rocknroll Dance and Ginger And Fred sustained gains through a :27.2 third quarter and stuck a nose in front of pacesetter Lady Capulet (Trace Tetrick) off the home turn, but was ultimately rebuffed by a head despite the valiant effort.

Chris Page drove Proof for trainer Brian Brown and owner Diamond Creek Racing.

Fellow Brown trainee Workin Ona Mystery, who was installed at 21-1 Spring Book odds, won his qualifier in 1:53 also in rein to Page. A five-time winner at two, the son of Captaintreacherous and Dragons Tale also resurfaced from a winter layoff, pushing clear of veteran distaffer Western Empress to win by 2-1/4 lengths. Diamond Creek Racing co-owns Workin Ona Mystery with the Stambaugh Leeman Stable, Alan Keith and Wingfield Brothers LLC.

The Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and William Donovan's Air Force Hanover (35-1) rounded out the Brown trio of Cup eligibles with a 1:54.3 runner-up performance behind Pure Maid. The son of Somebeachsomewhere and Allamerican Cognac made steady uncovered gains through a :55.1 individual back half; Page again drove.

Also eligible to the North America Cup, Dustin Arledge trainee Authentic Hanover (75-1) turned in a 1:54.2 qualifying mile after returning to action with a 1:54.4 showing two weeks ago. Usual driver Tyler Smith was behind the son of Western Vintage and Armbro Amoretto.

The card was capped by a resounding 1:52.3 mile from 2017 Breeders Crown champion Blazin Britches. The five-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven mare kept rolling on after a pair of qualifying wins earlier in the spring, and appears primed to return to action after an abbreviated four-year-old campaign. Brett Miller drove for Emerald Highlands Farm and trainer Virgil Morgan Jr.

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