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Pepsi North America Cup Elims Drawn

Tuesday, June 7, 2011  By: Standardbred Canada


Pepsi North America Cup Elims Drawn


A total of 23 of the continent's top three-year-old pacing colts and geldings have been drawn in to contest Mohawk Racetrack's Saturday, June 11 eliminations for the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup.


With 23 horses having been entered to contest the $50,000 eliminations, two of the dashes will feature eight-horse fields, while the other will feature seven combatants. The elims have been carded as Race 3, Race 4 and Race 6.


The top three finishers from each elimination, plus one fourth-place finisher drawn by lot, will gain entrance to the $1.5 million 'NA Cup,' the country's richest harness race and the Woodbine Entertainment Group's signature standardbred event. The connections of horses which win eliminations will be able to pick their horse's post position for the 'Cup.'


Six Foes Look To Take Down Big Jim In First Elim

The first elimination will be headlined by 2010 Dan Patch and O'Brien Award winner Big Jim. The James 'Friday' Dean-trained and Phil Hudon-driven son of Western Ideal will start from Post 3 in the seven-horse field for owner Jim Carr of Hamilton, Ont. The son of Western Ideal tasted defeat for the first time this season in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, formerly known as the Burlington Stakes. The career winner of $1,071,580 has won eight of his 13 career races and earlier this year was assessed as the 3-1 favourite to win the NA Cup in Trot Magazine's 2011 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book. After Big Jim's loss in the Somebeachsomewhere, Dean commented that “Everyone acts kind of shocked when he does get beat, but it’s just the way the race set up."

Big Jim will be joined in the first elim by the Daniel Martin-trained and Jack Moiseyev-driven Bestofbest Hanover, who, after some small equipment adjustments, made himself known to all with his victory in the Somebeachsomewhere last weekend. The Western Hanover colt will be looking to record his fourth win of the season in the elim, where he will start from Post 5. Owned by L Ecurie Triple P Inc. of Quebec, the third foal out of star pacing mare Bunny Lake will be looking to record his seventh career win in what will be his tenth overall start.

Custard The Dragon, who has won two of his five races this season, including the $300,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial Pace, will start from Post 7 in the first elim. Montrell Teague has been listed to drive. The brown Dragon Again colt has won five of nine career races and has banked $264,427. The $28,000 yearling purchase is owned by trainer George Teague, Jr. of Harrington, Delaware along with Ted Gewertz of New York, New York, Robert Feldman of Palm Beach, Florida and Fannin Racing LLC of Lincoln, Delaware.

Powerful Toy colt Powerful Mist has also drawn into the first elim and will start from Post 4. The Wayne Givens-trained bay was caught late by Custard The Dragon in the Hempt Memorial, where he settled for a second-place finish. The colt will be looking to improve on his third-place finish in the Somebeachsomewhere. The bay races for owners Legacy Racing of De. Inc. of Seaford, Delaware, Niel Gargiulo of Milford, Delaware and Louie Paglierani of Valrico, Florida. Tim Tetrick has been listed to drive.

Up The Credit To Headline Second Cup Elim

The Carl Jamieson-trained and Jody Jamieson-driven Up The Credit has stamped himself as a serious NA Cup player with his stakes record 1:49 mile in the Somebeachsomewhere. The brown Western Terror colt has drawn Post 3 in the second Cup elim and will be looking to add to his $148,440 bankroll for trainer Jamieson and co-owners Thomas Kyron of Toronto, Ont., Brian Paquet of Quebec and Joanne Morrison of Beeton, Ont.

The Casie Coleman-trained Betterthancheddar, who has already paced a pair of sub-1:50 miles this season, has drawn Post 2 in the second elim. The bay Bettors Delight colt won by more than 10 lengths in 1:49.2 during a May 30 overnight at Mohawk and followed that up by just getting caught late by Roll With Joe in their 1:49.4 division of the Somebeachsomewhere. Although he did qualify as a two-year-old, the $30,000 yearling purchase went unraced in his freshman season. Betterthancheddar is owned by Steve Calhoun of Chatham, Ont. and the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Ont. Brett Miller has been listed to drive.

Having prepped with a trio of miles over Tioga Downs, The George Teague, Jr.-trained Feel Like A Fool will start from Post 1 in the second elim. The Art Major gelding won six races and didn't miss the board in 11 starts as a two-year-old; a season in which he banked over $57

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