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Rooting For The Underdogs

Published: June 27, 2009 10:06 am ET

Last Comment: June 27, 2009 4:07 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Trainer Brenda Teague has a double shot at winning her second North America Cup tonight at Mohawk Racetrack with a pair of underdogs – Mr Wiggles and Chasin Racin. She will also have two tries to take the $100,000 Consolation with Barber Pole and Johnny Z


Teague will send out elimination winner Mr Wiggles, a son of Badlands Hanover out of Wiggle Hanover, from Post 2 with Corey Callahan in the bike for owners Elmer Fannin of Lincoln and her brother, George Teague, Jr. of Harrington, Delaware. The colt is currently the richest three-year-old in North America this year with close to $380,000 earned.

“He’s feeling better than ever,” Teague told Trot Insider on Friday afternoon. “I’m pretty happy because when I first came up three weeks ago they all got sick on me.”

After winning the Hoosier Cup on May 30 in Indiana, Mr Wiggles shipped to Canada to start in the Burlington Stakes, but with a Post 10 start he finished a disappointing eighth.

“He finished back and wasn’t 100 per cent. He was kind of sick the whole week so we were just trying to get a prep race in him and he raced much better this week [in his elim].”

Assessed at odds of 15-1 in the morning line for the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup despite winning his elim in wire-to-wire fashion, Teague says she doesn’t mind the long odds.

“Personally, I would rather be a longshot, I don’t like to be the favourite. I like to be the underdog if I can.”

For the final, Teague says she hopes her pupil can get a little bit of cover and come from behind.

Also a dark horse in tonight’s Cup is the 20-1 shot Chasin Racin, starting from Post 8 with David Miller set to drive. The Hoosier Cup runner-up who was third in his Burlington division drew into the NA Cup after finishing third behind early favourites Well Said and Keep It Real in his elim.

“We’re really happy with the way he raced,” says Teague. “He followed Well Said’s cover. He lost his cover [when Well Said made the lead] and was hung out from the half-mile pole. He raced a big mile.”

Teague says the son of The Panderosa – Contrapan is stronger from off the pace.

“We tried him on the front end for his first start here in the Burlington and he just got a little lost. He’s better off the pace and if he’s able to close I think he’s got a good shot too.”

Teague is no stranger to the feeling of Cup glory having won the 2006 edition with Total Truth.

“I’m preparing them the same way and hoping for the same outcome," she says. "Total Truth was a little bit of an underdog. He surprised us and I hope I can get another upset and be surprised again. It was a great feeling.”

Barber Pole and Johnny Z, who came up short in their eliminations, will have a shot at some Cup glory of their own in the richer of two consolations.

Assessed at odds of 10-1 in the morning line, Barber Pole, who is currently the fastest three-year-old pacer in North America this year thanks to his 1:49 score in a conditioner at the Meadowlands back in early May, will start from Post 6 with Brian Sears handling the driving.

“I thought Barber Pole would be a little better than he was. He spotted the field about 15 lengths. He lost a lot of ground behind the gate, but once he got going he didn’t get beat much,” explains Teague. Barber Pole was fourth in his elim after overcoming some sickness.

Teague’s other consolation colt Johnny Z, who was assigned odds of 10-1 in the morning line, has drawn the five-hole with Corey Callahan scheduled to drive.

“I’m hoping those two can come up in the consolation. They both trained super this week. Actually everything trained good so it was a good week.”

After Cup night, all four colts will ship back to Delaware on Tuesday to prepare for the Meadowlands Pace.

To view Saturday's entries, click here.

June 27, 2009 - 4:07 pmGood Luck, Brenda. We will

Good Luck, Brenda. We will be watching all the action!

June 27, 2009 - 1:41 pmGO BRENDA!


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