Several eliminations for the undercard of stakes events on North America Cup night occupy most of this weekend’s racing action at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with eliminations for trotting stakes on Friday, June 7 and eliminations for pacing stakes on Saturday, June 8.
The Friday card’s elimination action opens with aged trotting mares going in the first of two $35,000 splits for the Armbro Flight. Hambletonian winner Atlanta, who has won both of her races this season, starts from post 1 with Plunge Blue Chip, who set a world record of 1:49.4 in the Del Miller last year at the Meadowlands, neighboring from post 2. Yannick Gingras will drive Atlanta for trainer Ron Burke while Ake Svanstedt pilots his own pupil.
Defending champ Hannelore Hanover, also trained by Ron Burke, goes in the star-studded second Armbro Flight elimination with Gingras grabbing the reins. The seven-year-old Swan For All mare returned to the races on May 24 with a seventh-place finish as the odds-on favourite in a Preferred at the Meadowlands. She now ships north off a 1:52.2 qualifier on June 1, finishing seven-and-a-quarter lengths better than Marion Marauder.
Svanstedt sends a pair to compete against Hannelore Hanover with Ice Attraction from post 3 and Swedish-import Darling Mearas S from post 4. Ice Attraction, now five, finished sixth in the Armbro Flight final last year off a three-year-old campaign highlighted by a 1:54.2 upset in the Kentucky Filly Futurity. Stablemate Darling Mearas S will make her North American debut off two qualifiers—her most recent in 1:54.1. The six-year-old shipped across the Atlantic having earned over $750,000 in her homeland.
Also among the competitors to Hannelore Hanover, Luc Blais-trainee Emoticon Hanover will start from post 1 and last year’s sophomore sensation Manchego will start from post 8 in her second start of the year. Emoticon Hanover, finishing second in the Armbro Flight final last year, will have regular pilot Dan Dube in the bike while Manchego, having switched to the Nancy Johansson barn, has Scott Zeron driving.
Hambletonian hopefuls will step onto the track in the eliminations for the Goodtimes Stakes. Elimination one features frosh-phenom Swandre The Giant making his second start of the year after romping a preliminary of Indiana Sires Stakes in 1:54 over a sloppy track. The Ron Burke-trained son of Swan For All sold for a seven-digit figure after winning his first seven races as a two-year-old. Jimmy Takter then trained him heading into the William Wellwood Memorial but finished ninth after breaking in the final. His late-season pilot Yannick Gingras will again sit in the bike from post 3.
Drawing inside of Swandre The Giant, Smart As Hill will make his second start of the year. The runner-up in the William Wellwood returned on May 27 with a seventh-place finish as the favourite after breaking into the final turn. The Michael Keeling-trained son of Muscle Hill will have Paul MacDonell in the bike.
Trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman sends Southwind Avenger, who has won both of his starts this season, from post 5 in the second Goodtimes elimination. The son of E L Titan capped his freshman campaign with a 1:55.3 win in the $435,900 Valley Victory at the Meadowlands and enters off a 1:55.4 victory in a $73,067 division of Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold at Flamboro Downs. Trevor Henry, who drove him to a second-place finish in the OSS Gold Final last year, will sit in the sulky.
Tony Alagna ships his lightly-raced Muscle Hill colt Pilot Discretion north after winning both of his races this year. Undefeated from four starts, he enters off a 1:52.4 pocket-popping victory against conditioned company at the Meadowlands and will have Andrew McCarthy again in the bike.
On Saturday a pair of Fan Hanover eliminations run back to back between the North America Cup elims while the Roses Are Red has a $35,000 prep event.
Alagna sends another stakes contender in the opening Fan Hanover elimination with Treacherous Reign, who finished second in the $590,000 Shes A Great Lady and will start from post 10 with Dexter Dunn driving. The daughter of Captaintreacherous enters off two-consecutive wins with her most recent being a 1:50.3 victory in a division of Pennsylvania Sires Stakes at Pocono Downs.
Shes A Great Lady-winner Tall Drink Hanover starts from post 2 in the second elimination. Also trained by Alagna, the Captaintreacherous filly beat older horses two weeks ago with a 1:51.2 mile at the Meadowlands. Andrew McCarthy will sit behind the near half-million-dollar earner as she competes against a tough trio.
Warrawee Ubeaut also competes in the second elimination, racing from post five with Yannick Gingras driving. The Breeders Crown winner set a world record of 1:48.3 at The Red Mile last year and has almost $750,000 earned from 14 starts. Ron Burke trains the daughter of Sweet Lou.
Canada’s contenders pose a threat to some of last season’s top pacing fillies as Prescient Beauty goes from post 4 with Doug McNair driving and Ontario SBOA winner Sunny Dee starting from post 8 with Trevor Henry driving. Prescient Beauty, third in the Breeders Crown last year and winning the Three Diamonds, enters off a fourth-place finish in a New York Sires Stakes division as the favourite. Sunny Dee, however, puts her undefeated record on the line as the Bob McIntosh trainee, unbeaten in eight starts, enters off a 1:52.3 win over a good track in a division of OSS Gold.
Shartin N highlights the Roses Are Red prep as she starts to the outside of Caviart Ally. The Jim King Jr. trainee and Brett Pelling trainee, respectively, traded blows in the $100,000 Betsy Ross Invitational at Harrah’s Philadelphia before the six-year-old Tintin In America mare edged a nose in front on the wire. While she lost the elimination for this race last year, Shartin N redeemed herself with a 1:49.3 victory in the final and will have regular-pilot Tim Tetrick back to defend her title. Andrew McCarthy will steer Caviart Ally, who cruised to a sweep of the $255,000 Milton Stakes last fall at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Friday’s program at Woodbine Mohawk park has a total of 11 races while Saturday’s features 12. Both cards will get underway at 7:10 p.m. (EDT).
To view Friday's harness racing entries, click on the following link: Friday Entries - Woodbine Mohawk Park.
To view Saturday's harness racing entries, click on the following link: Saturday Entries - Woodbine Mohawk Park.