Perfect trip puts Nijinksy in Pepsi North America Cup winner’s circle

Perfect trip puts Nijinksy in Pepsi North America Cup winner’s circle

MILTON, June 15, 2024 – In a race chock-full of contenders, it was Nijinsky, courtesy of a flawless journey orchestrated by Louis-Philippe Roy, who came out on top in the 41st edition of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park.  

Showcasing a wide-open field with no shortage of sophomore horsepower, the premier North American event for three-year-old pacers promised plenty of drama to be played out in front of a packed house at the Milton oval.

And it certainly delivered on that front.

The action began as soon as the starter car sped away, with Funtime Bayama grabbing the early lead, followed by Captain Albano, Captain Luke and slight 5-2 choice Captains Quarters.

It got more compelling after Funtime Bayama carved out an opening quarter in :26.1, as Captain Albano sped to the front, only to be passed by Captains Quarters. Nijinsky was seventh but travelling comfortably with a patient Roy at the controls.

Jody Jamieson had Captains Quarters on top by 1 ½ lengths through a half in :54.1, followed by Captain Albano, Funtime Bayama, and Legendary Hanover, who announced his presence from in fourth.

Heading into the turn for home, Captains Quarters, a length clear through three quarters in 1:21.2, was still calling the shots as Legendary Hanover looked to reel in his rival. Captain Albano was third, but a hard-charging Nijinsky arrived on the scene and was rolling mid-way down the lane.

A game Captains Quarters dug in gamely to the inside, but Nijinsky had the momentum and went on to notch a 1 ½-length win in a lifetime-best mark of 1:48.1. Funtime Bayama, who had been locked-in at the rail, re-rallied to finish third. Captain Albano was fourth.

“It [the trip] worked really well,” said Roy, who won his first Cup in his fourth appearance. “I have to give credit to the horse himself. You can do whatever you want, and he’ll respond to you any time in the mile. He’s just so easy to drive.

“I knew coming down the lane. I didn't know how much Jody had left, but I really liked my chances there. I knew coming up the helmet, he would give me a pretty good kick.”

It was the fifth win in as many starts this year for the bay colt trained by Anthony Beaton for the ownership group of West Wins Stable (Casie Coleman), John Fielding, and Mark Dumain.

As a two-year-old, Nijinsky, who was runner-up in two OSS Gold divisions, went 1-2-3 from 10 starts, accompanied by $99,862 in purse earnings.

“He was a very nice colt last year,” said first-time Cup winner Beaton, who spent 10 seasons as assistant trainer to Coleman. “He just had a little immaturity and that, but he was always showing these high speeds at the end of the miles.

“This year, he came back and he's so much more mature,” continued Beaton, whose other Cup trainee, Legendary Hanover, finished fifth. “You could just do anything with him, and he’s still got that high speed."

Bred by Jeffrey Snyder, the son of Bettors Delight-Pirouette Hanover was a $120,000 purchase at the 2022 Harrisburg Yearling Sale.

Nijinsky, the 5-2 second choice, paid $7.90 for the win.

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Mohawk Park

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.