CAMPBELLVILLE, August 19 - The spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this Saturday night as two Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations, two Metro Pace eliminations and three She's A Great Lady eliminations will take centre stage.
The Canadian Pacing Derby has a rich history as the oldest stakes race in Canada for standardbred racehorses and on Saturday night the sport's top stars will bring their talents north for a pair of six-horse eliminations.
2013 Pepsi North America Winner Captaintreacherous and driver will start from post five in the second $40,000 elimination.
A two-time Pacer of the Year, Captaintreacherous has had to make the tough transition from age three to four this season, but has still shown his grit and determination facing the big boys.
Last Saturday night, 'The Captain' won the $34,000 Preferred in prep for the Canadian Pacing Derby and trainer was delighted with his performance.
"I was happy with his effort, it was a confidence builder he needed going into this week's elimination," said Alagna. "We drew away from Sweet Lou, but we caught Bettors Edge who has been racing really well, so hopefully the short field helps and he gets a fair shot again."
'The Captain' is a big fan of Mohawk Racetrack as he has never lost in six career starts over the Campbellville oval.
"He's always been his best up here," said Alagna. "We've had him up here for major races, so he's always been on his game when he came up here. He likes the atmosphere and he seems happy up here."
'The Captain' has two wins in seven starts this season and has never finished out of the money for seasonal earnings topping $176,000
The top horse this season on the WEG circuit, State Treasurer, will line up two spots inside Captaintreacherous.
State Treasurer has won the WEG Preferred six times this season and has won seven of his 12 starts for earnings of over $296,000.
Trained by , State Treasurer will be driven by WEG's leading driver .
The hottest horse in harness racing headlines the first elimination.
The trainee, Sweet Lou, enters his elimination on a nine-race win streak and having won his last seven starts in 1:47.4 or better
Sweet Lou has drawn post two in his elimination and will have his regular pilot in the sulky.
A five-year-old son of , Sweet Lou has made over $3 million in his career, but joining him in his elimination is the richest standardbred in the history of the sport, Foiled Again.
Also trained by , Foiled Again has earned over $6.3 million and continues to compete at the top level at the age of ten.
Foiled Again, who will start from post six with driver , is also a previous Canadian Pacing Derby winner having won the 2012 edition.
The top five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $650,000 final on Saturday, August 30. Elimination winners may choose their post position for the final.
15 of the sport's brightest freshman pacing colts and geldings have been split into a pair of eliminations for the chance to race in the $685,000 Metro Pace Final on Saturday August 30.
Leading the group of 15 is the Alagna trainee, Artspeak, who is undefeated in four career starts and enters the Metro elim fresh off a victory in the Nassagaweya Stakes last Saturday night.
Artspeak and driver will start from post position five in the first $40,000 elimination.
Alagna said he was happy with how Artspeak came out of the Nassagaweya Stakes.
"Artspeak jogged back super, everything checks out good," said Alagna. "We are really happy with the way he drew and hopefully he has another good shot this week and takes another step towards the Metro final."
The son of - The Art Museum was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase and is owned by the Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The GYM Partners.
One of the top local rookies, Traceur Hanover, will meet up with Artspeak for the first time.
Trained by Normand Bardier Jr., Traceur Hanover enters this weekend's elimination with three wins in four starts and is also coming off a victory in his Nassagaweya split.
sits behind the son of - Transference for owner Richard Berthiaume, who bought Traceur Hanover for the same price as Artspeak at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.
The other $40,000 elimination appears to be a wide-open affair, with seven rookie pacers looking to be in the top five to secure a spot in the rich final.
Sports Bettor, who will start from post position seven, is coming off a 69-1 upset victory in his division of the Nassagaweya last Saturday night.
Trained by for owner-breeder Frank Gentile, Sports Bettor broke his maiden in style with the Nassagaweya upset.
Before his breakthrough in the Nassagaweya, Sports Bettor had finished second in three of his five career starts.
will drive the son of - Shellys Delight.
Also in the field of seven is this year's Battle of Waterloo winner, Go Daddy Go, who will start from post three for the Hall of Fame connections of driver and trained .
The top five finishers from both eliminations will advance to the $685,000 final on August 30, with elimination winners earning the right to select their post position for the final.
The She's A Great Lady has attracted 25 rookie pacing fillies that have been split into three eliminations.
Shakai Hanover, a division winner of last Saturday' Eternal Camnation Stakes, headlines the first $35,000 elimination.
Trained by and driven by , Shakai Hanover will start from post position three and has won twice in four career starts.
The daughter of - Shes A Fan set a new career mark with her Eternal Camnation victory of 1:52.4 and has earned just under $83,000.
The second elimination features undefeated filly Band Of Angels from the barn.
A daughter of - Time N Again, Band Of Angels has won her first five starts of her career, with all five victories coming in New York Sires Stakes events.
She will start from post six with driver and ships north with over $133,000 in earnings and a mark of 1:52.3.
The final elimination stars another undefeated filly that will have in the bike.
JK Shesalady won her division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes last Saturday to improve her record to four for four.
Trained by Nancy Johansson for owners the 3 Brothers Stable, JK Shesalady has a speed badge of 1:52 and earnings exceeding $68,000.
The top three finishers from each elimination and one third place finisher drawn by lot will advance to the $450,000 final on Saturday, August 30.
All three rich finals will take place Saturday, August 30 at Mohawk Racetrack.
The party will start at 6 p.m. and first race post time is 7:25 p.m.
Here are the fields for Saturday night's stakes eliminations.
Race 3 - Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination One - Purse: $40,000
1. Thinking Out Loud -
2. Sweet Lou -
3. Captive Audience -
4. Domethatagain -
5. Sunshine Beach -
6. Foiled Again -
Race 8 - Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination Two - Purse: $40,000
1. Ellis Park -
2. Bettors Edge -
3. State Treasurer -
4. Modern Legend -
5. Captaintreacherous -
6. Clear Vision -
Race 6 - Metro Pace Elimination One - Purse: $40,000
1. Lyons Levi Lewis -
2. Trading Up -
3. Go Daddy Go -
4. Lone Survivor -
5. Dudes The Man -
6. Asap Hanover -
7. Sports Bettor -
Race 11 - Metro Pace Elimination Two - Purse: $40,000
1. The Wayfaring Man -
2. Pierce Hanover -
3. Amora Beach -
4. Some Power -
5. Artspeak -
6. Lyons Again -
7. Traceur Hanover -
8. Rollin Ring Afire -
Race 4 - She's A Great Lady Elimination One - Purse: $35,000
1. The Show Returns -
2. Bedroomconfessions -
3. Shakai Hanover -
4. Strut My Stuff -
5. Palette Tina -
6. Aria Hanover -
7. Bettor Be Steppin -
8. Kays Dragon Lady -
Race 9 - She's A Great Lady Elimination Two - Purse: $35,000
1. Solar Sister -
2. Divine Caroline -
3. Missy Tap Tina -
4. Cashaway -
5. Jk Shesalady -
6. Well Hello There -
7. Southwind Mischief -
8. Shesastarreporter -
9. Ideal Nuggets -
Race 10 - She's A Great Lady Elimination Three - Purse: $35,000
1. Float On By -
2. Macarena Mama -
3. A Plus -
4. Bin N Heaven -
5. Betty And The Jets -
6. Band Of Angels -
7. Happy Becky -
8. Dancin Caroll -
by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications.