On Wednesday, just days before the 30th edition of the $1-million Pepsi North America Cup, last year's Cup winner, Thinking Out Loud, returned to the scene of his biggest victory and recorded his first charted mile of the 2013 racing season.
In rein to pilot Randy Waples for trainer Bob McIntosh, Thinking Out Loud took to the track for Race 2 under perfect conditions.
After having lined up in Post 6, Waples eased the son of Ponder off the gate and elected to sit fifth past the 28-second opening quarter. The four-year-old was on the move in the second quarter, as Waples hustled the winner of $1.2-million in purses to the lead.
Thinking Out Loud cleared to the lead after the :56.4 opening half-mile and proceeded to spin off the three-quarters of a mile timer in 1:25.1. After opening up lengths through the stretch, Waples and the brown horse stopped the clock in 1:53.2 for a four and three-quarter-length win.
Michaels Power, Canada's 2012 Horse of the Year, took to the track in Race 5 looking for his second consecutive qualifying win this year. Last season's Little Brown Jug winner didn't disappoint.
With Scott Zeron calling the shots for conditioner Casie Coleman, the four-year-old son of Camluck left from Post 6 and cut the fractions in :28, :56.1 and 1:25.2 before coming home in :27.1 for a six and a quarter-length victory in 1:52.3.
Race 11, the second-last dash on the card, was where the Dustin Jones-trained and Sylvain Filion-driven Wheeling N Dealin made his 2013 qualifying debut. The undefeated Cantab Hall colt is being pointed to the Hambletonian, slated for later this summer at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
After having started from Post 6, Filion elected to place Wheeling N Dealin in the two hole. Kinetic King (driven by Roger Mayotte) was on the engine throughout the mile and cut the fractions in :29.2, :58.4 and 1:26.4.
Wheeling N Dealin still trailed at the head of the stretch, but Filion called on his charge and the bay colt responded by getting up for a half-length victory in 1:55.3.
To view the harness racing results for the Wednesday qualifying session at Mohawk, click the following link: Wednesday Results - Mohawk Racetrack (Qualifying).