Wide-open Pepsi North America Cup post positions set

Wide-open Pepsi North America Cup post positions set

MILTON, June 13, 2023 – The field and post positions are set for this Saturday's (June 17) 40th Pepsi North America Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

The post-position draw for the $1 million pacing classic took place on Tuesday afternoon at Mohawk. Elimination winners Christchurch, Confederate, Fulton and Its My Show earned their respective connections the right to secure a post between two and five in the final after their victories on June 10.

Fulton will start from post four for trainer Linda Toscano, who will also send out Its My Show.

In Saturday’s elimination, Fulton, with Dexter Dunn in the bike, blasted off the gate and took the lead. Down the lane, Fulton was still looking sharp, going on to notch a 1 ¼-length triumph in a 1:48.2.

“He hasn’t been racing bad,” offered Dunn. “His last couple starts, he hasn’t been 100 percent, but tonight he was really good. Linda changed his bridle, and he was sharp and ran right to the line.”

“It was easy to change the bridle, it was the way he raced that night,” said assistant trainer, Toscano’s husband, Brad McNinch. “Dex gave him a good trip, he came first up, he was happy with that. He fights horses off. He’ll fight a horse off coming from behind, he’ll fight a horse off if he’s chasing him.”

The bay son of Heston Blue Chip, bred by Best Bet Stables (Florida) and owned by Let It Ride Stables and Bottom Line Racing LLC, is 9-2-2 from 13 starts, including a 3-1-0 mark in four 2023 starts.

Its My Show (post two), winless in eight starts as a rookie, is now five-for-five on the campaign.

Sent off as the slight 6-5 choice in his elimination, Its My Show, leaving from post one, was immediately sent to the front by a confident Scott Zeron. After early opening splits of :26.4 and :55.0, Its My Show was still cruising, in command by 1 ¼ lengths through three-quarters in 1:21.3.

The son of Sweet Lou went on to cross the line a 2 ¼-length winner, earning a new speed badge of 1:48.0 in the process.

“The good thing about my horse is he’s probably the easiest horse I’ve ever had to drive,” lauded Zeron. “He’s very robotic, anything I want him to do, slow down, speed up. He’s super quick and he’s got some big lungs.”

Its My Show paid $4.70 for the win.

“He didn’t have a real great year last year, but his gelding seems to have turned him into a better racehorse,” said McNinch. “Scott gets along with him great and Scott believes in him. That’s part of the battle too. When the drivers believe in him, he’ll put them in play, and you’ll let the chips fall where they may.”

Bred and owned by Richard and Joanne Young, the bay gelding is now 5-2-1 from 13 lifetime starts.

“I didn’t expect him to do what he did from the rail,” said Richard. “I know I’ve watched a lot of horses race at this track from the rail and very seldom can they do what he did and then draw away.”

Confederate, who will leave from post five in the final, lived up to his 1-9 odds in his elimination with a head-turning effort to send him to the big dance.

The son of Sweet Lou, bred and owned by Diamond Creek, took his seven contemporaries through early fractions of :26.4 and :54.4, going on to hold a 1 ¼-length advantage through three-quarters in 1:22.1.

A trio of longshots picked up the chase down the lane but to no avail. The final time of 1:48.4 was a personal-best for the brown colt.

“He was very, very good,” said winning driver Tim Tetrick. “Nobody was really leaving so I thought I’d take control. I don’t like doing it, but I didn’t want him to have to work too hard on the second half chasing somebody, so it worked out good.”

Now 7-1-1 from nine starts, Confederate, trained by Brett Pelling, will go after his biggest win to date on a stakes-laden Saturday card on June 17 at Mohawk.

“He’s a cool little guy, he does his job, he likes to work,” said Tetrick. “He’s always out there playing, goofing off. He likes to win races, so I’m really liking him.”

Confederate paid $2.10 for the win.

The other elimination winner, Christchurch, a son of Always B Miki, will get underway from post three. After fellow finalist Voukefalas broke stride, Christchurch, in rein to Dexter Dunn, used a powerful move just ahead of the three-quarters mark to come home on top in 1:48.4.

Christchurch paid $9.50 for the win.

It was an even sweeter score considering Nancy Takter trained his mother, $1.1 million earner Darlinonthebeach.

“She was my second really good horse after JK She’salady,” said Takter, two-for-two in the NA Cup, who will also be represented by Save America in the final. “She came very early on in my career and I had a lot of success with her. I actually took care of her myself throughout most of her racing career, so she is definitely a very special horse to me. To have her first foal and have him in the NA Cup final is an awesome feeling. I actually watched him foal on their foal cam, so he’s always had a special place in my heart. You see how big he is, he’s huge. Last year, we just took our time with him, taught him how to race a little bit. He has a great set of lungs, a great gait, so he has all the tools to be great.”

Owned by Diamond Creek Racing, Farhi Standardbreds Corp, and Spreydon Racing, the bay colt is now 4-1-0 from nine starts.

The other eight finalists in this year's race went into an open draw for the remaining posts.

“As I look at this field for Saturday night, it is clear it is a global race,” said Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson. “We’ve attracted the best horses in North America. This race has built itself into one of the best three-year-old events in Standardbred racing.” ​

The field, post positions and morning line odds for this year's $1 million Pepsi North America Cup are listed below.

1 – Moment Is Here (Bob McIntosh/James MacDonald)

2 – Its My Show (Linda Toscano/Scott Zeron)

3 - Christchurch (Nancy Takter/Dexter Dunn)

4 - Fulton (Linda Toscano/Dexter Dunn)

5 – Confederate (Tim Tetrick/Brett Pelling)

6 - Voukefalas (Michael Russo/Jordan Stratton)

7 – Lyons Surfing (James King/Andrew McCarthy)

8 – Redwood Hanover (Anthony Beaton/James MacDonald)

9 – Save America (Nancy Takter/Yannick Gingras)

10 - Ammo (Joe Holloway/David Miller)

AE – Hungry Angel Boy (Tony Alagna/Todd McCarthy)

The Pepsi North America Cup is carded as Race 11 on Saturday's 13-race program. Post time for the race is approximately 10:41 p.m. The race will also be broadcast on TSN starting at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Saturday's card also features the Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red, Goodtimes, Armbro Flight and Mohawk Gold Cup. Over $2.3 million in purses will be up for grabs.

A special first race post-time of 6:30 p.m. is in place for Saturday.

For full event information, visit www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com.

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms

Grace Martin
Grace Martin Communications Specialist, Woodbine Entertainment
Horse Racing - SB
About Woodbine Entertainment

Woodbine Entertainment is the largest horse racing operator in Canada, with Thoroughbred horse racing at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, and Standardbred horse racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Milton. Woodbine Entertaiment also owns and operates HPIbet, Canada’s only betting platform dedicated to horse racing. Woodbine and Mohawk Park are host to several world-class racing events including The King’s Plate, three Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races, and the Pepsi North America Cup. Run without share capital, Woodbine Entertainment has a mandate to financially invest all profit back into the horse racing industry and the 25,000 jobs it supports across Ontario.   

Woodbine Entertainment
555 Rexdale Blvd. Toronto, Ontario.