Lather Up dashed through the inside when leaders Lost In Time and Courtly Choice hooked wheels into the stretch and sprinted to a 1:49.2 victory in his elimination for the North America Cup on Saturday, June 9 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Driver Montrell Teague sent Lather Up towards the front but yielded to Shnitzledosomethin shooting to the lead. After a quarter in :26.2, Lather Up circled to the top entering the backstretch. Lost In Time, positioned fourth, pulled first over heading to the half, clearing the lead in :54.2.
Courtly Choice was left uncovered rounding the final turn as Lost In Time led the field to three-quarters. The two hooked up and hooked wheels by three-quarters in 1:22.2 leaving an opening for Lather Up to pace through into the stretch. St Lads Neptune fanned off cover from second over to take second while Hitman Hill, from third over, finished third and Lost In Time, who drew into the 'Cup' final, held fourth.
Undefeated in five starts this season and winning his ninth race in 12 starts, Lather Up has accrued $167,100 in earnings for owners Gary and Barbara Illes. Clyde Francis conditions the colt by Im Gorgeous from the In The Pocket mare Pocket Comb. He paid $3.50 to win.
"I knew there was going to be a couple of them leaving out of there," Montrell Teague said, "and I wanted to get my way the whole time like I've been doing the last two times. But I figured out a trip, and it didn't look like the best one, but we figured it out. I popped the earplugs on him this time just to keep him to task and make sure he knows what to do next week and he exploded by a horse more than he [does] on the front."
Stay Hungry launched off cover in the stretch and powered past late leader and favourite Done Well to hand him the first loss in his career, winning the first elimination for the Cup in 1:50.
Positioned sixth at the quarter, Stay Hungry sat off a :27.3 quarter established by Topville Olympian. Summer Travel, sitting third, circled to the lead in the backstretch, pacing on the front by the half in :55.4.
Done Well began a first over bid moving into the far turn, carrying Hayden Hanover second over and Stay Hungry third over. Summer Travel maintained a slim lead on Done Well matching strides past three-quarters in 1:23.1 and lost the lead in the stretch. Stay Hungry rallied to the outside of Done Well into the final eighth, sticking his nose in front at the wire while Hayden Hanover took third from Summer Travel.
Winning his first race of two starts this season and his seventh in 11 starts overall, Stay Hungry, owned by Brad Grant and Irwin Samelman, returned $4.10 to win. Tony Alagna trains the colt by Somebeachsomewhere out of the Dragon Again mare My Little Dragon and Doug McNair was in the bike.
Stay Hungry, winning the Breeders Crown frosh pace at Hoosier last year, enters the Cup as one of the favourites.
"That's always what you dream of growing up watching the race - to be in the race with [a horse] that's going to be low odds is a great feeling," Doug McNair said.
Splitting horses in the final strides, Wes Delight edged to the top to take the second Cup elimination over Nutcracker Sweet in 1:50.2.
American History cleared command following a :26.1 first quarter leaving Wes Delight to sit the pocket and Dorsoduro Hanover, carried wide around the first turn as Beachin Lindy lost stride, to sit third. Through the half in :54.3, Dorsoduro Hanover mounted a first-over bid as Nutcracker Sweet loomed closer on the outside. Dorsoduro Hanover matched strides with American History by three-quarters in 1:22.4 before retreating through the stretch.
Nutcracker Sweet tipped off cover, swooping towards the lead while American History battled back to the inside. Wes Delight, with room to tip off the rail, shot through an opening into the final sixteenth to overtake Nutcracker Sweet at the wire, while American History held third from Burning Midnight.
Driven by Corey Callahan for trainer and co-owner Mark Harder, Wes Delight won his fifth race in six starts this season and his eighth in 17 overall, earning $232,573. Rick Phillips, Deena Rachel Frost also own the colt by Bettors Delight from the Western Hanover mare Maid West.
"He's been good all year long," Corey Callahan said. "Yannick [Gingras on American History] really had to start his horse up - he was down [to] the half pretty [quickly] there. Burke's horse [Dorsoduro Hanover] has been so tough [that] I was kind of worried I wasn't going to get any room. Yannick's horse went along enough [that] I could sneak out of there. This little horse is so gritty; he just loves to win."
With a seam opening in late stretch, Sudden Passing passed 1/2 favourite Alexis Faith suddenly at the wire, narrowly winning the first Fan Hanover elimination in 1:51.1.
Driver Jody Jamieson secured the pocket for Sudden Passing while Jan set a :26.3 first quarter on the lead. Alexis Faith pulled first over approaching the half and rushed towards the pacesetter to be within a length of the front through a :55.4 clocking.
Alexis Faith controlled the pace rounding the final turn while Big Thong traveled uncovered to the outside of pocket-sitter Jan two lengths from the lead. After a 1:23 third-quarter, the field fanned out chasing Alexis Faith through the stretch. Jan drifted off the pylons, leaving a gap for Sudden Passing to shoot through with Reign On Me in tow. Sudden Passing angled wide of Alexis Faith within the final sixteenth and slid to the front at the wire.
Owned by Lindsey and Connie Rankin, Sudden Passing, a three-year-old filly by Mach Three out of the No Pan Intended mare Gold Not Silver, won her third race in four starts this season and in nine starts overall, earning $112,131. Trained by Gregg McNair, she paid $8.20 to win.
Reign On Me finished third while Just Her Luck stormed through the center of the track for fourth and Big Thong rounded out the finalists.
Kissin In The Sand catapulted off cover at the head of the stretch and paced clear to a 1:51.1 victory in the second elimination for the Fan Hanover.
Ubettorgo Go went for the top, giving Kendall Seelster the pocket moving to the opening quarter. Timed in :27, Ubettorgo Go led the field into the backstretch as Youaremycandygirl edged from third towards the front and cleared Ubettorgo Go as the tempo quickened in :54.4.
Percy Bluechip angled first over from fourth around the final turn, giving cover to Kissin In The Sand. Youaremycandygirl passed three-quarters in 1:23.2 as Kissin In The Sand ranged three wide in pursuit of the lead. Kissin In The Sand powered to the front within the eighth pole and paced away from Im Trigger Happy and Shower Play, who dead-heated for second, and Kendall Seelster, shooting through the cones to take fourth. Ubettorgo Go also advances to the final.
Owned by Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables, Kissin In The Sand, a filly by Somebeachsomewhere out of the Real Artist mare Kiss Me Kate, won her first race in two starts this season and her eighth in 16 overall, earning $276,745. Trained by Nancy Johansson and driven by Scott Zeron, she paid $12.20 to win.
"[The trip] worked out great," Scott Zeron said. "The flow was constant and the front hasn't been holding up that well tonight, so it really worked out being second over. She can do it all - she can go to the front - [but] she holds speed. It takes her a little bit to get to that top speed but she holds it well."
Below is the field for the $415,000 Fan Hanover final:
1. Just Her Luck
2. Sudden Passing
3. Kissin In The Sand
4. Shower Play
5. Kendall Seelster
6. Alexis Faith
7. Reign On Me
8. Im Trigger Happy
9. Ubettergo Go
10. Big Thong
With 1/2 favourite Shartin N losing stride around the first turn, Blazin Britches was left alone on the lead and paced a 1:51 mile to take the first elimination of the Roses Are Red.
Shartin N galloped while moving towards the front around the first turn, but quickly got back on stride as Blazin Britches passed the quarter in :27.2. Blazin Britches continued on the lead through a :56.1 half and scooted away from Blue Moon Stride moving first over into second from Clear Idea through a 1:24.1 third-quarter. The stretch drive turned into a blowout for Blazin Britches, winning by open lengths while wrapped up as L A Delight finished second from finalists Lyons River Pride, Blue Moon Stride and Shartin N, who finished fourth but placed fifth for interference to Blue Moon Stride around the first turn.
A four-year-old mare by Rock N Roll Heaven out of the Allamerican Ingot mare Soggy Britches, Blazin Britches won her 12th race in 18 starts overall, collecting $560,444 for owner Emerald Highlands Farms. Trained by Brian Brown and driven by David Miller, she paid $14.00 to win.
"I know Timmy's mare [Shartin N running around the first turn] changed the whole complex of the race, but my mare was pretty fired up behind the gate and I don't even know if David [Miller] intended to leave," Brian Brown said. "But I don't think he had a choice.
"I'm surprised she got to the quarter as easy as it was and [then by] the half nobody came. So I was thrilled they left her alone - because once she clears like that and they leave her alone, she will relax. I think [in] a couple of races where she's back on, she'll settle down and he can go back to driving her the way she needs to be."
Moving to the lead and resigning to the pocket, Tequila Monday brushed back to the top heading to the half and advanced to a 1:50.1 victory in the second elimination of the Roses Are Red.
Tequila Monday sat pocket by the :27.3 quarter to The Joy Luck Club before angling off the rail and to the lead entering the backstretch. She paced to the half with no challengers in :55.4 and continued unfazed on the top moving to three-quarters and expanding her lead. Timed in 1:23.3, Tequila Monday held a two-length lead on The Joy Luck Club, who held second through the wire, into the stretch. Nike Franco N chased in third while Firebby A rallied off cover for fourth and rounded out the finalists.
A four-year-old mare by American Ideal out of the Ponder mare Margarita Monday, Tequila Monday, owned by Northfork Racing Stable and Chuck Pompey, won her third race in five starts this season and her 15th in 32 overall, earning $671,222. Trained by Hunter Oakes and driven by Brett Miller, she paid $5.70 to win.
"Chris and Hunter [Oakes] got her razor sharp," Brett Miller said. "Believe it or not, she races better from off the pace, but they got her so sharp right now it didn't matter.
"She's really matured. There were many times she would get so hot [that] she'd get out of control and she would go fractions that were way to fast and very tiring. But now she's matured into a very, very good mare."
Below is the field for the $370,000 Roses Are Red final:
1. Nike Franco N
2. Lyons River Pride
3. Tequila Monday
4. Blazin Britches
5. Blue Moon Stride
6. Artistic Madison
7. Shartin N
8. Firebby A
9. L A Delight
10. The Joy Luck Club
AE: Pure Country
Mcwicked rebounded in his return to Canadian soil, winning as the odds-on favourite in the $34,000 Preferred Pace in 1:49.1.
Easy Lover Hanover led the field through a :27.2 opening quarter with Ellis Park sitting second and Mcwicked third. He went unchallenged through a :55.3 half, where Sintra flushed Mcwicked first over moving to the far turn. Easy Lover Hanover endured pressure from Mcwicked by three-quarters in 1:23 and maintained the lead until midway through the stretch. Mcwicked edged clear of his rivals heading to the wire, finishing in front of Sintra, who snagged second from Easy Lover Hanover, and Ellis Park in fourth.
Owned by S S G Stables, Mcwicked, a seven-year-old stallion by Mcardle out of the Western Ideal mare Western Sahara, won his second race in three starts this season and his 24th in 77 overall, earning $2,433,601. Trained by Casie Coleman and driven by David Miller, he paid $3.30 to win.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.