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Thinking Out Loud Upsets In Cup 29

Published: June 16, 2012 9:55 pm ET

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Thinking Out Loud came roaring home on the far outside to capture the 29th edition of the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings in a 1:47.4 track and Canadian record equalling performance on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

Thinking Out Loud provided driver Randy Waples and Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh with their first victory in the North America Cup as he rallied home to win by half a length over Time To Roll (Andy Miller), stablemate Dapper Dude (John Campbell) and heavy favourite Sweet Lou (Dave Palone) in a four-across finish. State Treasurer (David Miller) finished fifth over three lengths behind.

Warrawee Needy (Jody Jamieson) was first to fire off the gate from post eight as the two outsiders Pet Rock (Brian Sears) and Simply Business (Ron Pierce) got off to a rough start. Making just his second sophomore start after chasing home heavy 1-2 favourite Sweet Lou (Dave Palone) in a 1:47.4 track and Canadian record mile during the elimination round, the O'Brien Award winning Warrawee Needy cleared to command ahead of A Rocknroll Dance (Yannick Gingras) around the first turn and carved out the fastest opening fractions ever in the history of the North America Cup. He sprinted past the quarter in :25.1 and the half in :52.4 before being confronted by the record-setting elimination winner Sweet Lou.

Sweet Lou made his move at the half and swept up from third before the record tying 1:20.3 third quarter mark with McIntosh's elimination winning colt Dapper Dude in pursuit and Time To Roll and Thinking Out Loud following his cover.

As Sweet Lou turned for home, Thinking Out Loud fanned wide around Dapper Dude with Time To Roll slipping between the two inside colts. Full of late pace, Thinking Out Loud unleashed a :26.1 final quarter to get up in deep stretch to capture Cup 29 in a 1:47.4 stakes record clocking. The time of the mile shaved two-fifths of a second off the former North America Cup record, which was established by Well Said in 2009.

"This is just an unbelievable feeling," said 46-year-old Milton reinsman Waples in front of the packed grandstand after the victory. "First off, all I can say is thank you everybody for coming to the North America Cup! We love you, we want to see you here every night, I can’t say enough about you. I love you! As for Bob, I just drove a horse for a guy that’s in every Hall of Fame in the world and he makes it so easy. His crew is unbelievable."

“It’s a great field of horses and it always comes down to racing luck and the racing luck was on our side," said McIntosh. "Randy drove great, John drove a fantastic race and finished third with Dapper Dude, so it was just a very exciting night.

"Randy and I go quite a ways back and Randy's dad Ronnie [Ron Waples] and I go way, way back," noted McIntosh. "The Waples name is nothing but class and I'm happy for Randy. I'm sure Ronnie is proud of him. It's just been a great, great day."

The victory for Waples was his first in eight Cup drives, which included a second place showing in last year's event with Roll With Joe behind Up The Credit. McIntosh had campaigned seven Cup starters prior to this year's edition coming close to glory on two occasions with Squirter finishing second to 1988 champion Runnymede Lobell in his first attempt and Stonebridge Regal placing behind 2005 winner Rocknroll Hanover in his latest.

The Windsor-based conditioner noted that his first Cup victory was even more fulfilling as it came with a colt he owns and bred (as Robert McIntosh Stables Inc.) with Leamington's Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. and the C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio.

“I bought [his sire] Ponder as a yearling and campaigned him and he was just an iron tough horse. He was very fast," noted the 59-year-old horseman. "It makes it extra special tonight that we bred this horse, C S X, my cousin Al and myself. We raced his dam Los Angeles, she was a Camluck [mare], which is another strong connection to us, so it's extra special to win it with a homebred."

Thinking Out Loud earned his seventh victory in just 10 career starts. McIntosh recognized the potential of the lightly raced colt early on, but an injury during his freshman year kept him out of the spotlight. Thinking Out Loud won three of his four freshman starts, including the Dream Maker Stakes in 1:52.4, and finished second in his only loss. This year, he has won four times and hasn't missed the board in six starts.

"Last spring training him, when I was tuning him up in the baby races, I knew he was going to be very special and Randy said last year after racing him a little bit 'that’s your best colt.' But then he came down with a bone bruise," explained McIntosh. "It was a hard decision, but we had to do the right thing for the horse and we shut him down for the year and he’s paying us back for that patience now I guess.”

The lion's share of the $1.5 million purse boosted Thinking Out Loud's bankroll to $861,750.

The 8-1 third choice paid $18.60 to win.

For recaps of Saturday's undercard, featuring the $530,000 Elegantimage Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies, $351,000 Goodtimes Trot for three-year-old colts and geldings, $376,000 Armbro Flight Stakes for aged trotting mares, $642,000 Fan Hanover Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, and $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational Pace, click here.

Important Links

  • Entries - Saturday's overnight sheet
  • Results - Saturday's racing results
  • Program Pages - past performance program page for each race, courtesy of TrackIT
  • News - all the previews and recaps leading up to Canadian harness racing's richest prize
  • Stats & Figures - WEG's Mike Hamilton provides a wealth of interesting North America Cup statistics
  • Live Video - watch the races here live starting at 7:10 p.m.

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