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NA Cup Eliminations Set

Published: August 18, 2020 11:24 am ET

Last Comment: August 18, 2020 4:55 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The entry box for the 37th Pepsi North America Cup closed Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. with 15 three-year-old pacers entered. The eliminations have now been drawn and are set for this coming Saturday night (August 22) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

The eliminations will determine the field for the $1 million final, which will take place on Saturday, August 29 at Mohawk. Woodbine Entertainment has announced that Mohawk will not be open to the general public on NA Cup Night. For complete details, click here.

A pair of $50,000 elimination races, with the top-five finishers from each advancing, will take place this Saturday (August 22). The eliminations have been programmed as Race 6 (9:05 p.m.) and Race 8 (9:55 p.m.). The card will kick off with a 7:00 p.m. first post.

The field for the 37th Pepsi North America Cup will be determined by two $50,000 eliminations this Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

The first $50,000 elimination can be classified as a ‘must-see’ race with the highly accomplished Tall Dark Stranger leading the field of eight. The stacked split also includes Ontario Sires Stakes stars Tattoo Artist and Beaumond Hanover, Milstein Memorial winner Odds On Osiris and last year’s standout Capt Midnight.

Tall Dark Stranger offers trainer Nancy Takter a strong chance at a second consecutive Pepsi North America Cup title after she won last year’s edition with Captain Crunch. The son of Bettors Delight is coming in off a career-best 1:47.1 victory in the Cane Pace.

Yannick Gingras will take his usual spot behind Tall Dark Stranger in Saturday’s Cup elimination.

Tall Dark Stranger will look to become the first horse to ever win the Metro Pace and Breeders Crown at age two and then win the Pepsi North America Cup the following year.

Metro Pace champions have come back to win the Pepsi North America Cup six times (Presidential Ball, 1992-93; Gothic Dream, 1996-97; Rocknroll Hanover, 2004-05; Somebeachsomewhere, 2007-08; Sportswriter, 2009-10; Captaintreacherous, 2012-13). Breeders Crown champions at two have won the Pepsi North America Cup three times (Bettors Delight, 2000-01; Well Said, 2008-09; Captain Crunch, 2018-19).

Jack Darling’s Beaumond Hanover and Dr. Ian Moore’s Tattoo Artist will finally meet after dominating the OSS this season. Both sophomores carry length win streaks into the Cup eliminations and both were victorious in OSS Gold action on Sunday night at Rideau.

Tattoo Artist has won five in a row and holds a mark of 1:48.2, while Beaumond Hanover has won four straight and has stopped the clock in 1:49.1.

Odds On Osiris made a name for himself last Saturday by winning the $250,000 Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park. The Melanie Wrenn trainee had never raced outside Indiana until that start and found the winner’s circle with her husband Peter Wrenn steering. He enters the Cup two for four this season and nine for 14 overall.

Trainer Tony Alagna sends out Capt Midnight and Captain Barbossa in the opening split as part of three horses he’s entered in this year’s Cup eliminations.

Capt Midnight won five of six starts at Mohawk Park as a rookie, including the Dream Maker, Nassagaweya and Champlain. He was most recently second to Tall Dark Stranger in the Cane Pace. Captain Barbossa is winless in seven starts this season, but has raced in the finals of the Meadowlands Pace and Adios.

The first elimination also includes the gritty Beach Blanket Book, who has won three of eight and finished top-two six times this season for Blake MacIntosh, and local starter Warrawee Vital, who is making just his second start in the last six and a half months and is trained by Rob Fellows.

The first elimination is carded as Race 6 with a post time of 9:05 p.m.

The starters in the second elimination will have their eyes open wide in search of a top result after missing many of the top contenders competing in the first split.

Allywag Hanover is four for six and the top earner in the field at $157,920 banked this season. The Brett Pelling trainee was third in the Meadowlands Pace final last month and enters the Cup elimination off a 1:49.1 victory in a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes division last Tuesday.

Pelling is a three-time Cup winning trainer, having captured the race with Rocknroll Hanover (2005), The Panderosa (1999) and Davids Pass (1995). This will be Pelling’s first crack at the Cup since returning to North America a couple years back following 11-years in his home country of Australia.

Captain Kirk is the third member of the Alagna barn competing in Saturday’s eliminations and is the only horse to hold a win over Tall Dark Stranger this season. The Alagna trainee won the Geers Stakes on August 1 in a career-best 1:48.3 and last time out was third in the Cane Pace.

A quartet of Woodbine’s most prominent trainers will send out starters in the second elimination.

Carmen Auciello and Rod Boyd will be in search of their first Cup appearance. Auciello sends out Moneyman Hill, while Boyd sends out Aneto.

Dr. Moore trainee Denali Seelster will look to emerge from the shadow of his prominent stablemate Tattoo Artist. Gregg McNair sends out Mayhem Hanover, who was last year’s OSS Grassroots champion.

The second elimination field is completed by Velocity Rukkus, who races for trainer Mark Evers and has competed at Mohawk Park in each of the last two seasons.

The second Pepsi North America Cup elimination is carded as Race 8 with an approximate post time of 9:55 p.m.

The winners of Saturday’s eliminations will earn their connections the opportunity to select their post position for the final. The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup final is scheduled for Saturday, August 29.

Elimination 1 (Race 6 - 9:05 p.m.)
(Post - Horse - Listed Driver)
1 - Beaumond Hanover - Jody Jamieson
2 - Warrawee Vital - Trevor Henry
3 - Tall Dark Stranger - Yannick Gingras
4 - Capt Midnight - Doug McNair
5 - Odds On Osiris - Peter Wrenn
6 - Beach Blanket Book - Doug McNair
7 - Tattoo Artist - Bob McClure
8 - Captain Barbossa - Louis Philippe Roy

Elimination 2 (Race 8 - 9:55 p.m.)
(Post - Horse - Listed Driver)
1 - Captain Kirk - Mark MacDonald
2 - Velocity Rukkus - Randy Waples
3 - Moneyman Hill - Jonathan Drury
4 - Aneto - Chris Christoforou
5 - Denali Seelster - Trevor Henry
6 - Mayhem Hanover - Doug McNair
7 - Allywag Hanover - Louis Philippe Roy

To view the harness racing entries for Saturday at Mohawk, click the following link: Saturday Entries - Woodbine Mohawk Park.

(With files from Woodbine Mohawk Park)

August 18, 2020 - 4:55 pmAppreciate the info Mike.

Appreciate the info Mike.

August 18, 2020 - 12:47 pm5 of the top 10 horses with

Mike Mobley SAID...

5 of the top 10 horses with the lowest NAC Spring Book odds are NOT entered in the NAC:
#1 Papi Rob Hanover
#3 Elver Hanover
#4 Cattlewash
#7 Catch The Fire
#10 Captain Nemo

These horses, which ARE entered in the NAC, had the longest Spring Book odds:
70-1 Beach Blanket Book
65-1 Aneto
65-1 Warrawee Vital
60-1 Denali Seelster
55-1 Moneyman Hill
55-1 Velocity Rukkus


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