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Sweet Lou, Dapper Dude Win North America Cup Eliminations

Published: June 9, 2012 8:49 pm ET

Last Comment: June 11, 2012 8:34 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Sweet Lou continued to impress with a dazzling record mile while Dapper Dude came through for a surprise in the Pepsi North America Cup elimination round for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

Sweet Lou turned in a sizzling 1:47.4 track and Canadian record mile in the second $50,000 elimination for driver Dave Palone and trainer Ron Burke.

Hurrikane Kingcole (Tim Tetrick) broke stride behind the gate before Bettors Edge (Yannick Gingras) established the early lead from post eight and put up a speedy :26-second opening quarter.

As the field headed down the backstretch, O'Brien Award winner Warrawee Needy (Jody Jamieson) brushed to command from third with Sweet Lou charging up to challenge from fourth. He cleared to command at the :53 half-mile mark and proceeded to three-quarters in 1:20.1.

Warrawee Needy pulled the pocket in the stretch, but couldn't catch the leader as he cruised into the history books. Warrawee Needy finished over two lengths behind with Thinking Out Loud (Randy Waples), Bettors Edge, and Simply Business (Ron Pierce) claiming the final spots in next Saturday's $1.5 million showdown.

The time of the mile shaved two-fifths of a second off Well Said's track and Canadian record for three-year-old male pacers that he established in the 2009 Pepsi North America Cup.

"We thought we had the six-horse [Warrawee Needy] to beat, Jody's colt. I know he thinks a lot of him and he's driven plenty of good horses," commented Palone after the win. "We were going to have to hook up somewhere along the line -- either this week or next week -- and I think post position draw means so much so I really wanted to give my horse a chance to win. We were just in the spot we didn't want to be. I knew he was going to beat me back to the front and I was going to have to take a pretty good stinging, but I just have so much confidence in this horse. He's an incredible horse, a once in a lifetime horse, and I just kind of stay out of his way and let him do his work."

Palone noted he would be avoiding the inside post position that he was assigned this week and opting for somewhere mid-pack in the final.

"I've been watching races up here all week long trying to get used to it, trying to get a feel for it, and [the rail] is obviously a disadvantage," he said. "You just kind of get looped going out of there and you're at the mercy of the pace. I won't be picking the rail next week I can tell you that, but like I said he overcomes everything. He just makes me look good."

The victory for Palone was his 15,132nd lifetime, leaving him just 49 wins away from breaking Herve Filion's all-time record of 15,180.

Sweet Lou paid $2.90 to win. The son of Yankee Cruiser out of the Falcons Future mare Sweet Future is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Lawrence Karr, and Phillip Collura.

Earlier on the card, Dapper Dude and driver John Campbell emerged in a blanket finish to win the first elimination in a career-best 1:49.3 for trainer Bob McIntosh.

Mel Mara (Luc Ouellette) left from the middle of the gate to establish an early two length lead and carved out early fractions of :27.1 and :54.4. At the half, odds-on favourite A Rocknroll Dance (Yannick Gingras) moved first up from third with Pet Rock (Brian Sears), Secretsoftheknight (Doug McNair), Dapper Dude, and Time To Roll (Andy Miller) following his cover.

A Rocknroll Dance applied heavy pressure to the leader as they raced by three-quarters in 1:21.3, but the top two bumped wheels in the stretch and A Rocknroll Dance nearly broke stride.

Meanwhile, the backfield had fanned wide and began to close in on the duo. Sprinting home in :26.4 from fourth over, Dapper Dude prevailed by a head over Time To Roll. Pet Rock, State Treasurer (Jody Jamieson), and the recovering A Rocknroll Dance finished a half-length behind in third through fifth to make the $1.5 million final.

“He got away near the back of the pack and I was hoping to get maybe third over and I ended up fourth over, which was a little farther back at the half and the five-eighths than I would of liked to have been," said Campbell after the victory. "But the outer tier moved up and I tipped him off his cover at the head of the stretch and he just kept digging right to the wire, and right at the wire he was still pacing hard and that was just enough to win.”

Dapper Dude returned $21.80 to his backers as the 9-1 sixth choice in the field. The son of The Panderosa out of the Camluck mare Dress To Suggest is owned and bred by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ont.

Campbell, the winningest driver in the history of the North America Cup having won six previous editions, noted that there are many factors that add up in his favour heading into the final.

“I’m going in with a good horse and he’s going in good form with a good post so all those things are in our favour," said the legendary reinsman. "We’ll have to wait and see how the other division shakes out. There's a couple good ones in there as well, but he’s a formidable horse. I'm very happy with him and he’s got a real good future against these colts this year.”

Campbell said he will opt for one of the three inside post positions for the final.

The post position draw will take place on Tuesday at Mohawk.

For recaps of Saturday's Fan Hanover Stake and Goodtimes Trot eliminations, click here.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.

June 11, 2012 - 8:34 amGreat race! Now that the

Bob Boyd SAID...

Great race!
Now that the Needy horse has a race under his belt should make for a exciting finale!

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