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'Wes' Is A Fresh Cup Contender

Published: June 16, 2018 10:14 am ET

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"He likes to win; he knows where that finish line is. He's great off the gate...he's got great speed all over."

Wes Delight (PP3) split rivals late to prevail victorious in the tightest finish of last Saturday’s Pepsi North America Cup eliminations for trainer Mark Harder and driver Corey Callahan, stopping the timer in 1:50.2.

“I was kind of worried I wasn’t going to get any room,” said Callahan following the elimination. “But (American History) went on enough I could sneak out there and this little horse is so gritty.”

Owned by Rick Phillips, Deena Frost and trainer Harder, Wes Delight has had a powerful start to his three-year-old campaign. The son of Bettors Delight notched his fifth win in six starts this season.

Wes Delight’s career totals sit at eight wins and $232,573 earned going into Saturday’s $1 million race. He has made more starts (17) than any other horse in this year’s Cup.

The last time Mark Harder sent out a horse in the North America Cup was 2007, and he finished second in that appearance with Sutter Hanover.

"I'm so excited, I can't even explain it to you," second trainer Emma Petterson told Trot Insider at Tuesday's post draw. "I'm so proud, and I know I speak for all the connections -- Rick Phillips, Deena Frost, Mark Harder...we're proud of our boy."

The 35th edition of Canada’s richest harness race, showcasing the finest three-year-old pacers on the continent, will head postward at 10:40 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live on TSN2 from 10:00 – 11:00 p.m. (EDT). The winner of the Pepsi North America Cup earns $500,000. This year’s edition marks the 18th anniversary of Pepsi’s sponsorship of the race.

2018 Pepsi North America Cup
(Post – Horse – Driver - Odds)
1 – St Lads Neptune – Jody Jamieson - 8/1
2 – Stay Hungry – Doug McNair - 5/2
3 – Wes Delight – Corey Callahan - 9/2
4 – Lather Up – Montrell Teague - 2/1
5 – American History – Yannick Gingras - 10/1
6 – Lost In Time – Scott Zeron - 12/1
7 – Done Well – Tim Tetrick - 4/1
8 – Nutcracker Sweet – David Miller - 15/1
9 – Hayden Hanover – Andy Miller - 20/1
10 – Hitman Hill – Brett Miller - 20/1

The Cup night card will offer three Pick-4 wagers, including an All Stakes Pick-4 with a $100,000 guaranteed pool, comprising of Races 9 through 12. There will also be a mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5.

The North America Cup undercard features some of harness racing's premier competitors in the $415,000 Fan Hanover for three-year-old pacing fillies, $370,000 Roses Are Red for pacing mares, $250,000 Armbro Flight for trotting mares, $266,000 Goodtimes for three-year-old trotters and the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational for pacers.

Post time for the first of 15 races on the Pepsi North America Cup card is 6:30 p.m.

To view Saturday's entries, click on one of the following links:
Woodbine Mohawk Park - Saturday Entries - Program Pages (courtesy TrackIT).

The I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club has also organized an online handicapping contest for Saturday's card. If you are heading to Mohawk on Saturday, make sure to visit the I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club booth. The Fan Club be offering a trackside contest to select the winner of the Pepsi North America Cup and have some great new Fan Club swag for sale.

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