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News and Insight On Winbak Farm

Read below for the latest on Winbak Achievements and graduates. Stories are from the leading industry news sources.

1-2 finishers, plus Chasin Racin, Millionaire Cam advance

Saturday, June 20, 2009  By: WEG

 

If I Can Dream and Mr Wiggles won the last two $50,000 eliminations Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack, to qualify for next Saturday's $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup, the richest harness race on the continent, joining Well Said and Dial Or Nodial.

 

The owners/connections of the winners will get to choose post positions for the final, prior to the balance of the field being drawn on Tuesday. Fourteen of the past 25 Cup winners also won their eliminations. The four second-place finishers also advanced, as did two third-place finishers drawn by lot.

 

Driven by George Brennan, If I Can Dream, the 9-5 favorite, took over from 57-1 longshot Annieswesterncard after an opening quarter in :26.2, and sprinted to the half in 55.2. Going around the far turn, the pacesetter was joined by recent New Jersey Classic winner Passmaster Hanover.

 

But the son of Western Hanover had plenty in the tank, reaching the three-quarters in 1:24, then pulling away in midstretch to post a two and one-half length win in 1:51.1, followed by Annieswesterncard and Arctic Warrior.

 

It was the fourth win in five outings this season for If I Can Dream, owned by Bulletproof Enterprises and trained by Tracy Brainard, who was coming off a resounding three-length score in the Rooney final at Yonkers on June 13.

 

"He's pretty handy," said Brennan. "He's got good gate speed, so I used that. But (driver Ron) Pierce was going at her pretty good (with Annieswesterncard), so I just tucked in behind. I just waited for him to back down the pace a little bit, flipped him back out and got some kind fractions.

 

"My horse felt good (down the lane), but that horse of Pierce's is a good horse. I saw him in the Berrys Creek, he had a great night that night, so you never know until you get to the wire."

 

The fourth elim went to Mr Wiggles, a 15-1 outsider driven by Corey Callahan, who hung on desperately to edge Art Colony and driver John Campbell by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.3. Millionaire Cam rallied for third, while Vintage Master, the odds-on choice, closed a huge gap to finish fourth after going off-stride at the start.

 

Mr Wiggles, leaving from post nine, blasted to the front and sizzled an opening quarter in :25.4. After reaching the half in :55, Mr Wiggles, trained by Brenda Teague, stepped it up in the third quarter, reaching the third quarter in 1:23.1, then had enough left to fend off Art Colony at the wire.

 

It was his fifth win in nine starts this year, highlighted by a victory in the $500,000 Hoosier Cup, May 30 at Hoosier Park for owners Elmer Fannin of Lincoln and George Teague Jr. of Harrington, Del.

 

"This colt's been hindered all year with bad posts," said Callahan. "At the Hoosier Cup, we had post nine. Last week, we had post 10 here in the Burlington. He can do it either way. He's a better chaser but obviously he's just as good on the front end as well.

 

"I thought Campbell would come back (to challenge after the half). It worked out perfect. I got a little bit of a breather. I didn't have to go a huge third quarter and that left me with a little bit late. That first quarter would sting a lot of horses, so I was glad he had a little bit left in the tank."

 

Well Said, winner of last year's Breeders Crown, held off a determined challenge by Keep It Real in the first elim, reaching the mile in 1:50 flat, the fastest time of the night. Chasin Racin was a distant third, while favoured Lisagain finished fifth.

 

Driven by Ron Pierce, who won the 2006 Cup with Total Truth, Well Said, the 5-2 second choice, was winning his second race in only three outings this year for trainer Steve Elliott and co-owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York City and Lothlorien of Cheltenham, Ontario, who were also the co-owners of former Cup winners Red River Hanover in 2002 and Rocknroll Hanover in 2005.

 

The second elimination went to the 2-5 choice Dial Or Nodial with Brian Sears at the controls. Away rather tardily, Dial or Nodial came second-over around the far turn and was four wide down the stretch, while furiously trying to catch the pacesetter Ideal Danny. In the closing strides, Dial Or Nodial was up in time, in 1:50.2, holding off a charging OK Boromir by one length for the win, while Bay Of Sharks finished third.

 

It was the third win in five starts this year for the son of Western Ideal, bred and owned by Arlene and Jules Siegel of New Hope, Pennsylvania.

 

Trained by Jim Campbell, Dial Or Nodial won the New Jersey Sires Stakes Championship at the Meadowlands on May 30 before finishing third in the $500,000 New Jersey Classic last week. Last year, he won eight of 12 starts and over $400,000.

 

Chasin Racin and Millionaire Cam were the two third-place finishers drawn by lot to also advance to the Pepsi North America Cup final. (WEG)


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