Over $1 Million For Grabs On Stacked NA Cup Undercard

Harness racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park
Published: June 13, 2023 11:12 pm EDT

Building to the main event – the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup – on Saturday (June 17) at Woodbine Mohawk Park, more than $1 million in undercard stakes will go postward featuring some of harness racing's most talented performers.

Older trotting mares begin the festivities with the $210,000 Armbro Flight final, where five-year-old Bar Hopping mare Bella Bellini will attempt to make amends for a third-place finish in last year’s renewal. Dexter Dunn drives the double millionaire for trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman from Post 5 off a facile 1:51.3 victory in her elimination. Raised By Lindy – the other elimination winner – lands Post 3 for Yannick Gingras, who drives for trainer Domenico Cecere.

With 33 entering the ring to try for the North America Cup, only 10 breached the final, but 10 others have a chance at a decent payday in the $75,000 Pepsi North America Cup Consolation. O'Brien Award and Metro Pace winner Stockade Seelster, who was third in his elimination, has the opportunity to become a millionaire in the event and starts from Post 1 in rein to Jody Jamieson for conditioner Dr. Ian Moore. Also landing in the consolation are $430,000 Governor’s Cup champ El Rey from Post 8 with Scott Zeron driving for Tony Alagna and $136,800 Ontario SBOA Stakes winner Write Me A Rose from Post 9 with Sylvain Filion in the sulky for trainer Kyle Fellows.

Breeders Crown and O'Brien Award winner Gaines Hanover has the chance to pad his resume when he starts from Post 2 in the $250,000 Goodtimes Trot final. The Richard Moreau pupil, to be driven by regular reinsman Louis-Philippe Roy, dug in to the finish of his elimination to win by a neck over Southwind Coors, who starts just inside of him with Scott Zeron grabbing the drive for trainer Matt Bax. Warrawee Yang, the other elimination winner, landed Post 4 for driver Scott Young and starts just inside of the favourite he downed in the elimination Hasty Bid.

Allywag Hanover, winner of the 2021 Mohawk Gold Cup, will try again in the $100,000 invitational after finishing third in last year’s edition to a burgeoning Bulldog Hanover. Todd McCarthy handles the Brett Pelling pupil from Post 9 in a field that includes three other millionaires: Abuckabett Hanover from Post 5, Tattoo Artist from Post 6 and Wheels On Fire from Post 7. Some other names in the race will try to burst back onto the stakes scene like Billy Clyde from Post 1 in his first stakes try since his sophomore campaign; Nautical Hanover from Post 3, this year blossoming under the care of Ben Baillargeon; and Linedrive Hanover from Post 4 as he makes his second start since hitting the shelf last July.

Sophomore Breeders Crown and Dan Patch winner Treacherous Dragon matches up with aged Breeders Crown winner Grace Hill in the $305,000 Roses Are Red final. Treacherous Dragon starts from Post 2 off an in-hand 1:48.3 mile in her elimination while Grace Hill coasted to victory in the other elim with a 1:50.1 mile. Their competition also includes local champion mare So Much More from Post 5, $328,200 Blue Chip Matchmaker champ Amazing Dream N and sophomore Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final and O'Brien Award winner Silver Label from Post 6.

The $420,000 Fan Hanover final completes the action preceding the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. The companion event for sophomore pacing debutantes, this year’s renewal pins last season’s phenom freshman from south of the border Twin B Joe Fresh, who shut down following the Grand Circuit meet at The Red Mile, with last season’s phenom freshman in Canada and Breeders Crown winner Sylvia Hanover. Dexter Dunn drives Twin B Joe Fresh from Post 3 for trainer Chris Ryder while Bob McClure sticks with the assignment on Dan Patch and O'Brien Award winner Sylvia Hanover from Post 5 for trainer Shawn Steacy. Aside from that pair of elimination winners, the race gathers New Jersey Sire Stakes champ Ucandoit Blue Chip from Post 2, $428,400 Three Diamonds winner Zanatta from Post 4, Breeders Crown runner-up Charleston from Post 6 and Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champ Beach Cowgirl from Post 8.

To view Saturday’s harness racing entries, click one of the following links: Pepsi North America Cup Night -- Saturday Entries || North America Cup Card Program Pages (courtesy TrackIT).

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.