Field set for 41st Pepsi North America Cup

Field set for 41st Pepsi North America Cup

MILTON, June 8, 2024 – Captains Quarters, Funtime Bayama and Nijinsky captured Saturday night’s Pepsi North America Cup eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

A total of three $50,000 eliminations were contested on a rainy evening in Campbellville. The top-three finishers from each split punching their ticket to next Saturday’s $1 million final.

Metro Pace winner Captains Quarters converted off a perfect second-over trip to win the first elimination in 1:49.1 for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Herb Holland.

The opening stages saw Gem Quality shoot out to grab command, posting fractions of :26.1, :54.1 and 1:21.4. Race-favourite Captain Albano moved out from third to come first up on the far turn, while Captains Quarters followed out from fourth.

In the stretch, Captains Quarters would power by Captain Albano in the final eighth to win by a length. Ivy Park finished third to grab a spot in the Cup final, while Janelle Granny finished strong for fourth.

A son of Captaintreacherous, Captains Quarters was back on his top game Saturday after a second-place finish in last week’s Somebeachsomewhere Stakes.

“I think we knew last week that the horse wasn't the Captains Quarters that we know,” said Jamieson. “I expected a bigger effort. Last week's effort was pretty monstrous, but all things considered, he was bound to be better, and he showed it there tonight.

“I was able to slide into a slot where I could just wait a long time. We were stepping right along. And, you know, he's a great horse. And, what else can you say about a great horse? They just do great things.”

The well-managed Captains Quarters now has two wins in three starts this season and four in eight starts overall for his career. He’s now earned $582,154 for owner Rich Stiles.

A $2 win ticket on Captains Quarters paid $5.

Funtime Bayama edged Legendary Hanover in 1:50.1 to take the second Cup elimination.

Driven by Sylvain Filion, Funtime Bayama went forward as expected and got command at a :26.2 opening-quarter. Legendary Hanover quickly moved out from third and rushed to the lead in the second-quarter, posting clips of :55.3 and 1:23.1.

In the stretch, Funtime Bayama angled out to set up a stretch duel with Legendary Hanover, ultimately getting up on even terms in deep stretch and reaching up to win by a head.

Captain Luke was able to beat out Mirage Hanover for third.

Trained by Richard Moreau, Funtime Bayama improved his seasonal record to four wins from five starts and career record to eight wins in 12 starts for Bayama Farms.

“I was hoping to get covered up, which did happen, and I was pleased with the way he was relaxed,” said Filion. “He's used to racing on the front, but he was pretty good in the hole, sitting good. And he came out of it pretty good when I moved him. I was real pleased with him.  

“He means so much to all our family, to all the Filion family. They're all cheering for him. It's just an amazing thing right now.”

A gelded son of Hes Watching, Funtime Bayama has now made over $400,000. He paid $4 to win.

The third and final elimination saw Nijinsky continue his winning ways for driver Louis-Philippe Roy and trainer Anthony Beaton.

Total Stranger kicked things off with a wicked :25.4 opening-quarter. The leader backed things down to the half in :55 before stepping it up for a 1:22.1 three-quarter clocking.

Its Saturday Night came first up at the leader, while Nijinsky was out early from fifth looking for that cover and would eventually sit on that rivals back in a striking spot.

In the stretch, Nijinsky shot off cover and paced strong to a 1:50.2 victory. Storm Shadow hugged the rail throughout in fourth and fired up the inside to a second-place finish by three-quarters of a length

Total Stranger was able to win a battle for third over Its Saturday Night.

A son of Bettors Delight, Nijinsky is now undefeated in four starts this season after winning just once in 10 starts last year.

“I thought I actually could get the cover on Storm Shadow, letting him in in front of me there, but we were forced pretty early on the backside to move and Storm Shadow elected to stay in,” said Roy. “I kind of grinded a little slower, and finally got the Dexter to go first up. It helped get a little break for my horse there.

“He sprinted again the last sixteenth there. So, I was really happy with him.”

Nijinsky has now made over $200,00 for owners West Wins Stable, John Fielding and Mark Dumain. He paid $2.50 to win.

Following the eliminations, a draw was held to determine the fourth-place finisher that secured the tenth and final spot in next Saturday’s rich final. Janelle Granny for trainer Ron MacDonald won the draw and will compete in the final.

The Pepsi North America Cup elimination winners all secured a starting spot in the final anywhere from post two through six. The draw will take place on Tuesday at Noon during a special press conference and luncheon.

The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup is the main event on next Saturday’s (June 15) marquee night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 6:30 p.m.

Mark McKelvie, Woodbine Communications

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.