Day At The Track

Lather Up captures 35th $1m Pepsi NA Cup

01:48 PM 17 Jun 2018 NZST
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Lather Up Shartin N, harness racing Wolfgamg, harness racing Shower Play, harness racing
Montrell Teague gives a cheer as Lather Up wins the $1m Pepsi North America Cup
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Shartin N and driver Tim Tetrick win the Roses Are Red Final
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Wolfgang and driver Yannick Gingras capture the Goodtimes Final
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Shower Play and driver Louis-Phillipe Roy upset in the Fan Hanover
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MILTON, ON - June 16, 2018 - Lather Up proved he was a step above his harness racing competition by capturing the 35th edition of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Trained by Clyde Francis, Lather Up and driver Montrell Teague powered forward from the beginning and took no prisoners en route to a four-length score in 1:48.1.

"It's a sensational feeling," said co-owner and breeder Gary Iles. "To come away with a win, it doesn't get any better than this."

The win was sweet redemption for trainer Francis and driver Teague after they came up just short in the 2015 edition with Wiggleit Jiggle it.

Lather Up fired from post-four to the early lead, but was overtaken at the opening-quarter (:26.3) by Done Well and driver Tim Tetrick. Teague wasted little time retaking the lead in the second-quarter and had his charge showing the way through a :54.1 opening-half.

"I definitely wanted to retake," said Teague. "(Tetrick) could have went on and taken a bigger fraction for the half but I was trying to go back to the front and back the half down as much as I could."

Nutcracker Sweet and driver David Miller were first-up rounding the far turn, supplying cover for a perfectly placed second-over Stay Hungry and driver Doug McNair.

Lather Up reached three-quarters in a sizzling 1:21.3 to lead into the lane.

Two-hole sitter Done Well and an off-cover Stay Hungry fired their best shot in the stretch, but were no match for the 4/5 mutuel favourite.

Lather Up powered home in :26.3 for his biggest victory and fifth win in as many starts this season. Done Well finished second, while Lost In Time and driver Scott Zeron rallied from eighth, placed fourth-over at three-quarters, to grab third. Stay Hungry finished fourth.

"It didn't go the way I thought it was going to be," said Teague. "I thought everyone was going to be a lot more aggressive for a million-dollar race and I would come off cover, but there was only about three of them left out there and I was one of them."

Owned and bred by Gary and Barbara Iles, Lather Up's beginning comes from a semen mix-up during breeding season and a near-death experience during birth. The true underdog is sired by-then Ohio stallion Im Gorgeous, who has since returned to racing.

Lather Up made big noise during his rookie season, mainly in Ohio with the Francis trainee taking four of seven starts, including a stunning track record performance of 1:51.1 at Scioto Downs.

The talented colt wasted no time making an impact this season, posting a 1:50 track record mile at Miami Valley in his second start of the campaign on May 6.

Lather Up now holds a career record of 10 wins in 13 starts. The $1-million classic victory increases his seasonal earnings to $593,000 and career earnings to $667,100.

Winning trainer Francis is part of the George Teague Stable operation, which won the Pepsi North America Cup in 2006 with Total Truth.

A $2 win ticket on Lather Up returned $3.20. The $2 Exacta with Done Well returned $17.20, while the Trifecta with Lost In Time paid $133.20. A $1 winning-Superfecta (Stay Hungry) returned $220.15.

Lather Up

Shower Play arrived on the scene late to score with a wide-rally in Saturday’s $415,000 Fan Hanover, at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Trained by Rene Dion and in rein to Louis Phillipe Roy, the Ontario-sired daughter of Shadow Play picked up her first major career score following a strong second in last week’s elimination to Kissin In The Sand.
“Every time I drove her, even when I qualified her, she surprised me more and more,” said Roy. “I knew she was ready for more. Last week after the race, I was in the drivers’ room and I told James (MacDonald), next week, if I get a good draw I think I’m a winner in there. With the four-hole I was happy and the trip worked out good.”
Kendall Seelster was quick off the gate but a fired up Ubettergo Go was sent with intent by Tim Tetrick to mark the opening quarter in :26.1.  Doug McNair put Alexis Faith into motion down the back straight to make the half in :54.3 with Just Her Luck popping out from fifth position as the combatants jostled for position.
Alexis Faith and Just Her Luck continued their battle from the top of the lane but as the smoke cleared it was Roy and a resurgent Shower Play who stormed home with authority in 1:50.2.
“Going down the backstretch, I tried to flush Scott (Zeron, Kissin In The Sand) early a little bit because I wanted him to be first up and I knew Kissin In the Sand was probably the one to beat,” said Roy. “I told myself if I could be second over behind her, that would be perfect for me.
“But, just a little bit later Chris (Christoforou, Just Her Luck) went first up,” continued Roy. “And, actually, Kissin In The Sand got the perfect trip and I had to beat her, but the filly showed she was so good and did the job.”
Shower Play, bred in Ontario by Tara Hills Stud Ltd and owned by Dion with Susanne J. Kerwood and Martin Leveillee, paid $8.20 to win.
Shower Play
Wolfgang dominates in Goodtimes

Jimmy Takter trainee Wolfgang has stamped himself as a top dog in the three-year-old trotting division following a strong 1:52.1 victory in Saturday’s $266,000 Goodtimes Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

The son of My Mvp circled to the lead from second entering the backstretch and proceeded to say goodnight to his rivals, drawing away to win by four-lengths.

Driven by Yannick Gingras, Wolfgang trotted his final-quarter in :27.3 for his second win in as many starts.

"I would say so,” said Takter when asked if the race went according to plan. “The horse is a very good horse and you can do anything you want with this horse, he's very handy."

Alarm Detector, last year’s top two-year-old trotting colt in Canada, came first up on the far turn and eventually finished third, missing the top-two for the first-time in nine career-starts.

Stormont Ventnor, who was 99-1, surprised by finishing second.

Wolfgang, who went three for 10 during his rookie season, is now a five-time winner with over $450,000 earned for Brixton Medical Inc, Goran Falk, Hatfield Stables and Fair Island Farm Inc.

The Takter trainee paid $4.30 to win.


Shartin N blossoms in Roses Are Red

Shartin N, who made a break but recovered to finish fourth in last week’s elimination, redeemed herself with a prominent effort in the $370,000 Roses Are Red final on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Blazin Britches blasted off the gate for Dave Miller with Shartin N pressuring outside and Tequila Monday settling in along the rail through an opening quarter in :25.4.  However, an aggressive Tim Tetrick made a quick decision and cleared to the front with Shartin N to take command.
Blue Moon Stride moved first over for Corey Callahan to provide competition for Shartin N who made the half in :54.2, while L A Delight got rolling down the back straight with a three-wide move.
Shartin N continued her lead to the top of the lane and found another gear as she straightened away to notch the victory in a sharp 1:49.3 over Blue Moon Stride who held place over L A Delight.
Tetrick said he went behind the gate with an open mind.
“I let her tell me what she wanted to do off the gate, which I’ve always done and today I did let her step forward pretty good and get early position and it worked out. I was going to make my way to the front and I went ahead and did that,” said Tetrick.
Despite the miscue in her elimination effort, Tetrick remained confident with Shartin N in the Roses Are Red final.
“She didn’t want to listen to my audible (last week), but she’s a good mare,” said Tetrick. “She’s got her quirks but with as much speed as she has, she can overcome a lot of that.”
Shartin N held strong down the lane for Tetrick who is more confident than ever now in the five-year-old daughter of Tintin In America, who was bred in New Zealand by G. J. Crabbe.
“The times I’ve had her on the front she’s pretty lazy up there and then she won’t really go until she sees someone. She kept doing it, and I got nervous, but I should have just sent and I would have been okay,” said Tetrick.”
Shartin N, trained by James King for owners Richard Poillucci and Joann Looney King, paid $3.50 to win as the 3/5 mutuel favourite.
Shartin N

by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications






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