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Pepsi NA Cup Elims Set

Published: June 4, 2019 11:59 am ET

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The post positions have been drawn for Woodbine Mohawk Park’s 2019 Pepsi North America Cup eliminations, which will be contested this Saturday evening (June 8) at the Campbellville, Ont. raceway.

The connections of 18 of the continent’s top three-year-old male pacers have entered their charges to contest the ‘Cup’ eliminations. The nine-horse elims, each of which will carry a purse of $50,000, have been carded as Race 3 (7:50 p.m. approximate post time) and 8 (9:30 p.m.) on the 12-dash program. Mohawk’s first race will head to post at 7:10 p.m. on Saturday.

The top five finishers from each elimination will gain entrance to the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, which will spearhead a stakes-laden program of racing at Mohawk on Saturday, June 15.

The first of the eliminations has shaped up to be real showdown, as Captain Crunch, De Los Cielos Deo, Century Farroh, Bettors Wish and Hurrikane Emperor are all set to lock horns.

Recent Art Rooney Pace winner Bettors Wish (PP1, Dexter Dunn) will take his best shot in the Cup elims for trainer Chris Ryder. The son of Bettors Delight kicked off his 2019 campaign in overnight action at Yonkers Raceway, but stepped up just a few weeks later to sweep the Art Rooney. The bay punctuated his victory in the Rooney final with a 1:51.4 mile, one in which he motored away from his competition late to post a six-length victory. Bettors Wish – who has won eight of his 15 career starts and has only missed the board once – is unbeaten thus far in 2019 after three starts. He is owned by Chris Ryder (of Allentown, NJ), Bella Racing Ltd. (Delaware, OH), Fair Island Farm Inc. (Versailles, KY) and Kenneth Solomon (Coral Springs, FL).

Hurrikane Emperor (PP3, Dan Dube) has won ten of his 12 career races heading into the Cup elims and looks to be a player for trainer John McDermott. The bay son of Hurrikane Kingcole made his qualifying debut this season in 1:51.4 and romped in his three New Jersey Sire Stakes races that followed. He captured each of his aforementioned NJSS tests by double-digit lengths – the most dominant of which was a 1:52 tally in which he won by 26 and a half lengths. The colt has banked $314,000 to date and is owned by Jonathan Klee Racing (Mineola, NY), Kuhen Racing LLC (Yardley, PA), Pegasis Investment Group (Boca Raton, FL) and William Garofalo (Fairfield, NJ).

Captain Crunch (PP4, Scott Zeron), last season’s Dan Patch winner as the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year in the U.S., has been nothing short of sensational since kicking off his ‘glamour boy’ campaign. The Captaintreacherous colt debuted on May 19 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono with a life’s best 1:49.1 win in the slop, and followed that effort up with a 1:49.2 victory over the same course on May 26 without being asked. Scott Zeron drives Captain Crunch for trainer Nancy Johansson and owners 3 Brothers Stables (New York, NY), Christina Takter (East Windsor, NJ), Rojan Stables (Wilmington, DE) and Caviart Farms (Vienna, VA). The bay has won eight of his 12 career starts to this point and has banked $686,460 in purses.

Ron Burke trainee De Los Cielos Deo (PP5, David Miller) caught everyone’s attention a few days ago when he fired to a 1:48.4 win during qualifying action at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The son of Captaintreacherous had been winless in three pari-mutuel starts this season heading into the qualifier. The bay colt did all the roadwork in the morning mile, as he and pilot David Miller cut all the speed (:28, :54.4, 1:21.2) before pacing off to win by almost 13 lengths. De Los Cielos Deo won five of ten starts and $200,000 in purses last season for Burke Racing Stable LLC (Fredericktown, PA), Lawrence Karr (Randolph, NJ), Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb (Delray Beach, FL) and Weaver Bruscemi LLC (Canonsburg, PA).

After having raced in the conditioned ranks to kick off his sophomore campaign, the Dr. Ian Moore-trained Century Farroh (PP9, Sylvain Filion) surely boosted his stock during the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes. The bay son of Mach Three, who raced primarily in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots last year, was a bold front-end winner in his ‘Beach’ split, as the colt went to the top in the second panel and held off all comers to record a neck victory in 1:52.4. The career winner of eight of 14 starts and $179,000 in purses is owned by Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS.

The second of the elims looks like it is also going to be a slugfest, as it will feature Bronx Seelster, Stag Party, Tyga Hanover and Workin Ona Mystery

Stag Party (PP5, David Miller), Canada’s 2018 Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year, is heading into his elim off of a pair of third-place finishes over Mohawk, where he captured the Metro Pace last season. The Casie Coleman pupil made his seasonal debut over the Campbellville oval in the Ontario Sires Stakes and was individually timed in 1:51.1 after a Post 11 start. He followed that performance up with a gritty effort in his Somebeachsomewhere split this past weekend where he finished one and three-quarter lengths back of Tyga Hanover and was individually clocked in 1:52.3. Stag Party, who has finished on the board in all of his 11 career starts, has won six races and banked $692,000 for owners John Fielding (Toronto, Ont.), Mac Nichol (Burlington, Ont.), McKinlay & Fielding (Toronto, Ont.) and the West Wins Stable (Cambridge, Ont.).

The Wayne McGean-trained Bronx Seelster (PP6, Trevor Henry) is heading into his elim off of a fourth-place finish last weekend in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes. The 2018 Battle of Waterloo winner also captured a Champlain division during his freshman season, to go along with multiple wins in the Ontario Sires Stakes. The Big Jim colt has won seven of his 14 starts and $417,000 in purses for the Capers 3 Stable of Sydney, NS. Bronx Seelster has yet to find the winner’s circle after two starts this season, which has seen him pace in 1:50.4 and 1:52.4 over Mohawk.

Tyga Hanover (PP8, Sylvain Filion), who overcame broken equipment to win his Somebeachsomewhere division last weekend, will take his best shot in the Cup elims for trainer Ben Baillargeon and owners Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin (St. Catharines, Ont.) and Glen Rankin (Ottawa, Ont.). The bay tightened through the lower conditions at Mohawk to kick off his three-year-old campaign, but stepped up in his Somebeachsomewhere split to hold off Best In Show, Stag Party and Bronx Seelster in victory. The gelding was winless in his six-race freshman campaign, but appears to be finding his stride at the right time for his connections. The son of Somebeachsomewhere has now won three of his 10 career starts and has banked $68,000.

Workin Ona Mystery (PP9, Tim Tetrick), who hails from the barn of Brian Brown, is heading into the Cup elims having won seven of his eight career starts and boasting a sub-1:50 mark. The son of Captaintreacherous has been perfect thus far in his three-year-old campaign, as he has prepped for the Cup by recording victories in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes dashes. The most recent of those PASS performances came at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and was a wrapped-up, 1:49.3 triumph. The colt is owned by Diamond Creek Racing (Wellsville, PA), the Stambaugh Leeman Stable (Wauseon, OH), Alan Keith (Johnstown, OH) and Wingfield Brothers LLC (Kenton, OH).

The fields for the eliminations, which are in post order with listed drivers, appear below.

Elimination #1
Race 3 – 7:50 p.m.
(Post – Horse – Listed Driver – Trainer)
1 – Bettors Wish – Dexter Dunn – Chris Ryder
2 – Best In Show – Bob McClure – Linda Toscano
3 – Hurrikane Emperor – Dan Dube – John McDermott
4 – Captain Crunch – Scott Zeron – Nancy Johansson
5 – De Los Cielos Deo – David Miller – Ron Burke
6 – Air Force Hanover – David Miller – Brian Brown
7 – Shake That House – Tim Tetrick – Chris Oakes
8 – Fixed Idea – Randy Waples – Todd Clements
9 – Century Farroh – Sylvain Filion – Dr. Ian Moore

Elimination #2
Race 8 – 9:30 p.m.
(Post – Horse – Listed Driver – Trainer)
1 – Captain Victorious – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke
2 – Lyons Night Hawk – Tim Tetrick – Gareth Dowse
3 – Semi Tough – Matt Kakaley – Ron Burke
4 – Caviart Rockland – Scott Zeron – Nancy Johansson
5 – Stag Party – David Miller – Casie Coleman
6 – Bronx Seelster – Trevor Henry – Wayne McGean
7 – Aflame Hanover – Tim Tetrick – Linda Schadel
8 – Tyga Hanover – Sylvain Filion – Ben Baillargeon
9 – Workin Ona Mystery – Tim Tetrick – Brian Brown

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