MILTON, June 6, 2023 – Intense battles are guaranteed for this Saturday’s Pepsi North America Cup eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
For the first time since 2009, a total of four elimination races will be contested to determine the field of 10 for Canada’s most prestigious harness race. The entry box for the Cup closed Tuesday morning with 33 horses entered to compete.
Each $50,000 elimination this Saturday will feature just two guaranteed spots for the $1 million race up for grabs. The top-two finishers from each elimination, plus two third-place finishers drawn by lot, will advance to the Cup final on June 17.
Elimination winners will draw for post positions two through six in the final.
Below is a preview of some of the top contenders in each elimination.
The first $50,000 elimination will have a field of eight lining up.
Rising star Voukefalas (PP4, Jordan Stratton) will take on his toughest test to date for trainer Michael Russo. The Lazarus N colt is a perfect three for three this season, posting a convincing sweep of the New Jersey Sires Stakes.
Bob McIntosh trainee Moment Is Here (PP7, James MacDonald) is representing Ontario in his bid to make the rich Cup final. The gelded son of All Bets Off finished second in last Saturday’s Somebeachsomewhere Stakes after winning in a national season’s best 1:49 on May 27.
The first split also includes recent Pennsylvania Sires Stakes division winner Ervin Hanover (PP2, Yannick Gingras) and top Ohio Sires Stakes competitor Racing Rampage (PP8, Andrew McCarthy).
Here is the field for the first Pepsi North America Cup elimination (carded as Race 3):
1 – Christchurch (Dexter Dunn/Nancy Takter)
2 – Ervin Hanover (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke)
3 – Kopi Luwak (Andrew McCarthy/Tony Alagna)
4 – Voukefalas (Jordan Stratton/Michael Russo)
5 – Bamboozler (Dexter Dunn/Virgil Morgan Jr.)
6 – Vici (Todd McCarthy/Brett Pelling)
7 – Moment Is Here (James MacDonald/Bob McIntosh)
8 – Racing Rampage (Andrew McCarthy/Darren Dowler)
The second $50,000 elimination features a deep field of nine going forward.
A half dozen of the nine starters earned over $200,000 during their two-year-old season.
Breeders Crown champion Ammo (PP5, David Miller) is the top earner in the field at over $500,000. The Joe Holloway trained son of Sweet Lou has captured two of three starts this season, matching his same win total from a two for seven campaign last year.
Somebeachsomewhere division winner Annapolis (PP2, Hunter Myers) will look to continue enjoying his time in Ontario. The Mitchell York trainee has never finished outside the top-three in 17 starts, racking up 10 wins and $315,220 in earnings.
Brett Pelling trainee Combustion (PP3, Todd McCarthy) has been on the Cup radar of many leading into this season. The Captaintreacherous colt won his season debut last Saturday at The Meadowlands to improve to seven for 11 with $321,905 earned.
Trainer Tony Alagna will send out six starters in the Cup eliminations, including Governor’s Cup winner El Rey (PP8, Scott Zeron). The son of Captaintreacherous has five wins, nearly $300,000 earned and will be aiming for a rebound after finishing fifth in the Somebeachsomewhere.
Redwood Hanover (PP9, James MacDonald) offers another good shot for local connections. The Anthony Beaton trainee scored an impressive 1:49 victory in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere and is now four for five this season.
Here is the field for the second Pepsi North America Cup elimination (carded as Race 5):
1 – Gung Ho (Louis-Philippe Roy/Amanda Fine)
2 – Annapolis Hanover (Hunter Myers/Mitchell York)
3 – Combustion (Todd McCarthy/Brett Pelling)
4 – Hungry Man (Todd McCarthy/Tony Alagna)
5 – Ammo (David Miller/Joe Holloway)
6 – Fulton (Dexter Dunn/Linda Toscano)
7 – Cant Stop Lou (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke)
8 – El Rey (Scott Zeron/Tony Alagna)
9 – Redwood Hanover (James MacDonald/Anthony Beaton)
The third $50,000 elimination will have a field of eight on the gate.
O’Brien and Dan Patch Award winner Stockade Seelster (PP2, Jody Jamieson) is the headliner for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. The son of State Treasurer scored a 1:50.1 victory in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere to avenge a narrow defeat in his season debut. The nine-time winner is on the brink of millionaire status, sitting at $989,170 in career earnings.
Its My Show (PP1, Scott Zeron) has been a breakout star this season for trainer Linda Toscano. The gelded son of Sweet Lou is undefeated in four starts this year after going winless in eight attempts as a rookie. He most recently took a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes division in 1:49.1 on May 28.
The third elimination also includes Save America (PP3, Yannick Gingras) for trainer Nancy Takter and Seven Colors (PP6, Tim Tetrick) for trainer Brian Brown. Both sophomores posted 1:48.1 victories on May 28 in Philadelphia.
Here is the field for the third Pepsi North America Cup elimination (carded as Race 7):
1 – Its My Show (Scott Zeron/Linda Toscano)
2 – Stockade Seelster (Jody Jamieson/Dr. Ian Moore)
3 – Save America (Yannick Gingras/Nancy Takter)
4 – Dupree Hanover (Andrew McCarthy/Tony Alagna)
5 – Ace Of Aces (Bob McClure/Shawn Steacy)
6 – Seven Colors (Tim Tetrick/Brian Brown)
7 – Act Fast (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke)
8 – Tip Top Cat (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke)
The fourth $50,000 elimination will feature a field of eight going forward.
Confederate (PP5, Tim Tetrick) is the headliner in the final elimination. The Sweet Lou colt kicked off his sophomore campaign for trainer Brett Pelling with a victory on May 27 at The Meadowlands. He entered this season off a tremendous two-year-old season that saw him win five of seven starts and earn nearly half a million.
Trainer Ron Burke will send out five starters in Saturday’s eliminations, including Loubet (PP6, Yannick Gingras) in the finale. The son of Sweet Lou debuted in the fall last season, winning three of four starts. He’s posted a second and sixth in two starts this season, both Pennsylvania Sires Stakes divisions.
Write Me A Rose is another local contender competing in Saturday’s eliminations. The Kyle Fellows trainee captured the SBOA Stakes on May 20 and enters three for five this season after winning three of nine last season. He was most recently fourth in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere.
Here is the field for the fourth Pepsi North America Cup elimination (carded as Race 9):
1 – Hungry Angel Boy (Todd McCarthy/Tony Alagna)
2 – Just Bet It All (Yannick Gingras/Per Engblom)
3 – Lyons Surfing (Tim Tetrick/Jim King Jr.)
4 – Ants Marching (Yannick Gingras/Nancy Takter)
5 – Confederate (Tim Tetrick/Brett Pelling)
6 – Loubet (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke)
7 – Stormalong (Jordan Stratton/Tony Alagna)
8 – Write Me A Rose (Sylvain Filion/Kyle Fellows)
Tickets are on sale now for the Pepsi North America Cup on June 17. Tickets are general admission and cost $10. As a special promotion, all general admission tickets purchased come with a $10 betting card to be used on Cup night.
Guests 17-years-old and younger receive free admission.
Tickets are on sale during operation hours at Woodbine Mohawk Park and admission can also be paid on the night of the event.
ENTRIES AND POST TIME
To view the full entries for Saturday’s card, click here.
Post time for Saturday’s 11-race card is 7 p.m.