Campbellville, ON --- Last weekend’s elimination winners McWicked, Tellitlikeitis and Lyonssomewhere head an extremely competitive field of 10 for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup harness race, this Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack.
The 31st edition of the world’s richest pacing event, showcasing the finest 3-year-olds on the continent, will go postward at 10:14 p.m. and will be shown live on TSN. A half-hour preview of the race will air on TSN GO from 9:30-10:00 p.m., with the race set for TSN from 9:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. The winner will earn C$500,000.
Post positions were drawn today at Mohawk, with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland as the guest drawmaster.
Last Saturday, three Cup eliminations were held to determine the field for the final. The three winners earned their connections the right to choose a post position before the balance of the field was drawn. Seventeen of the past 30 Cup winners also won their elimination.
Trainer Casie Coleman, who won the 2010 Cup with Sportswriter, sends out McWicked, who recorded the fastest elim, winning by two lengths in 1:48.3, from post two. Owned by SSG Stables, McWicked, a son of 2002 Cup third place finisher Mcardle, is a five time winner in 14 outings with career earnings of $244,707. Driver David Miller has yet to win the Cup in 13 tries, but has twice been second, including last year with a 96-1 shot Twilight Bonfire.
Trainer Jimmy Takter, more renowned as a trotting conditioner for such stars as Moni Maker, Kadabra and Malabar Man, but who also directed filly pacer See You At Peelers to championship seasons, will have two Cup entrants, Tellitlikeitis (post three) and Lyonssomewhere (post four), who both won their elims in ultra-impressive fashion and who both will be solidly backed on Saturday night.
Tellitlikeitis, bred and owned by Lothlorien of Cheltenham, Ontario, took his elim in a career best 1:48.4, blowing by heavily-favored He's Watching to win by 2-1/4 lengths in only his second start of the year. The regally bred son of 2009 Cup winner Well Said out of champion Kikikatie also won his season opener, a Pennsylvania Sires Stake, at Pocono Downs in May.
Lothlorien has shared ownership of three previous Cup winners -- Well Said (2009), Rocknroll Hanover (2005) and Red River Hanover (2002). Takter has only started two previous Cup entrants, both in 2012, and finished second with Time To Roll. Driver Brett Miller has two previous Cup drives, finishing second in 2010 with We Will See.
Lyonssomewhere, owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Burford, Ontario is undefeated in five starts. The son of 2008 Cup winner and Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere took his elim comfortably in 1:50.1 by 1-3/4 lengths in his first stakes appearance. He’ll be driven by Corey Callahan, making only his second Cup drive after finishing fourth with Mr Wiggles in 2009.
He's Watching (post seven), co-owned and trained by David Menary of Rockton, Ontario, finished second to Tellitlikeitis in his elim, but last year won all eight starts en route to a Dan Patch Award as the United States’ top 2-year-old colt pacer. Winner of a Somebeachsomewhere division on May 31 in a career best 1:49.3, the son of American Ideal will be driven by the continent’s perennial leader, Tim Tetrick, who steered champion Captaintreacherous to an authoritative score in last year’s Cup.
JK Endofanera (post nine), trained by Ron Burke for owner-breeder 3 Brothers Stables of New York City, had a five-race win streak broken in his elim when finishing third as the 1-2 choice to Lyonssomewhere, while drifting out in the stretch. The son of Art Major is the field’s leading money winner with $453,517, topped by his win last year in the Governor’s Cup at the Meadowlands. He’ll be driven by Brian Sears, who steered Rocknroll Hanover to victory in the 2005 Cup.
Last year’s Breeders Crown champion, Luck Be Withyou (post eight), was third to Tellitlikeitis in his elim, after finishing second to JK Endofanera in a Somebeachsomewhere division the week before in his seasonal debut. Trained by Bill Cass for owner John Craig of North York, the son of Western Ideal will be driven by Ron Pierce, who has won two Cups, with Total Truth in 2006 and Well Said in 2009.
Let's Drink On It (post five), trained by Joe Seekman, is a seven-time winner in 16 starts and was third to McWicked in his elim. A son of Art Official, the only horse to defeat Somebeachsomewhere, he’ll be piloted by 21-year-old Tyler Smith, who would become the youngest driver to win the Pepsi North America Cup.
Sometimes Said (post 10), another son of 2009 Cup winner Well Said, finished second to McWicked last Saturday, the ninth time in 14 outings he’s been the runner-up. Trained by Jim Campbell for owner Fashion Farms and driven by his Hall of Fame brother and record six-time Cup winner John Campbell, Sometimes Said was also second to Luck Be Withyou in last year’s Breeders Crown.
Beat The Drum (post one), a son of 2007 Cup winner Tell All, finished second as a 27-1 shot to Lyonssomewhere in his elim for trainer Staffan Lind. Yannick Gingras drives the three-time winner in 17 starts, the most outings by any Cup entrant this year.
Completing the field is Ideal Cowboy (post six), who finished fourth to McWicked in his elim but drew into the final. Trained by PJ Fraley, the son of American Ideal has banked $48,684 in 10 career starts. Scott Zeron will drive.
In 2012, Thinking Out Loud set the stakes record of 1:47.4 at Mohawk, eclipsing the former mark of 1:48.1 established by Well Said in 2009 while Hall of Famer Bettor's Delight has won the race by the largest margin, 4-1/2 lengths, in 2001.
Other winners of the Cup, which began in 1984 at Greenwood Raceway, include such champions as Jate Lobell (1987), Precious Bunny (1991), Presidential Ball (1993), Cam's Card Shark (1994), Gallo Blue Chip (2000), Rocknroll Hanover (2005), Somebeachsomewhere (2008) and Captaintreacherous (2013).
The Cup was raced at Greenwood from 1984-93, followed by Woodbine from 1994-2006. It was held at Mohawk Racetrack for the first time in 2007. The shortest-priced winners, at $2.70, are Jate Lobell and Presidential Ball, while Goalie Jeff, in 1989, provided the highest win payoff, $93.60.
Horseplayers will get an added bonus on Pepsi North America Cup night when Mohawk will offer three Pick-4 wagers including an “All Stakes Pick-4.”
The All Stakes Pick-4, with a $100,000 guaranteed pool, will run from race seven to 10 and will feature the Roses Are Red, Mohawk Gold Cup, Fan Hanover and conclude in race 10 with the 31st Pepsi North America Cup.
$1 million Pepsi North America Cup
1–Beat The Drum–Yannick Gingras-Staffan Lind-20-1
2–McWicked–David Miller-Casie Coleman-7-2
3–Tellitlikeitis–Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-3-1
4–Lyonssomewhere–Corey Callahan-Jimmy Takter-4-1
5–Let's Drink On It–Tyler Smith-Joe Seekman-6-1
6–Ideal Cowboy–Scott Zeron-PJ Fraley-15-1
7–He's Watching–Tim Tetrick-David Menary-5-1
8–Luck Be Withyou–Ron Pierce-William Cass-12-1
9–JK Endofanera–Brian Sears-Ron Burke-10-1
10–Sometimes Said–John Campbell-Jim Campbell-20-1
AE–Jet Airway–Scott Zeron-Erv Miller
From the Publicity Department at WEG