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N.A. Cup Eligibles Qualify

Published: April 21, 2016 3:31 pm ET

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Horses that are eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup have been surfacing in qualifying dashes and pari-mutuel races as of late. That continued Thursday morning (April 21) at Mohawk Racetrack, as a pair of three-year-olds triumphed in their qualifying assignments over the Campbellville course.

A total of 15 races went postward during the session, which featured a ‘fast’ track.

Race 13 saw the Gregg McNair-trained and Doug McNair-driven Magnum J post his second qualifying victory of the season. The black gelding came from off the pace and sprinted away to a four and three-quarter-length win in 1:54.3.

McNair and the Big Jim gelding started from Post 3 and were five lengths away from the leader at the :28.1 quarter pole. The duo erased that deficit in the second quarter. Magnum J was first to the :57.4 half-mile pole and tripped the three-quarters-of-a-mile timer in 1:26.4. Magnum J capped off his mile with a :27.2 final quarter-mile clocking.

Magnum J made headlines last season when he captured the $227,397 Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway, but was then shut down afterward. Gregg McNair explained to Trot Insider last year that Magnum J had been shut down due to lameness. The career winner of over $126,000 in purse earnings was purchased for just $10,000 as a yearling.

Magnum J was bred by Frank Tomcala of Michigan. He is owned by Gregg McNair of Guelph, Ont. and Tony Lawrence and William Brown, both of whom hail from Hanover, Ont.

Magnum J was assessed at odds of 42-1 in Trot Magazine’s 2016 N.A. Cup Spring Book.

Jody Jamieson steered Major Hill to victory in Race 6. The three-year-old Art Major colt posted a one-length victory in 1:53.1 for trainer Dave Menary.

Major Hill started from Post 2 and was first to the opening quarter-mile marker (:28.2). He was also first at the half-mile pole, which he tripped in :57.4. Major Hill was charted in second at the 1:25.3 three-quarters-of-a-mile marker (Shocking Image, who ultimately finished second, was the first-over leader at that point.). Major Hill had the lead at the head of the homestretch. He came home with a :27.2 final quarter-mile.

Major Hill was assessed at odds of 75-1 in Trot Magazine’s 2016 N.A. Cup Spring Book. The bay is a homebred of Tom Hill, who now calls Hamilton, Ont. home. The colt was winless in his three starts last year, all of which came for trainer Ron Burke. The qualifying effort was the first charted line of Major Hill’s 2016 campaign.

To view the harness racing results from the Thursday qualifying session at Mohawk, click the following link: Thursday Results – Mohawk Racetrack (Qualifying).

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