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Moore Hopes Eighteen is Lucky Number in NA Cup

Wednesday, June 8, 2011  By: Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications

Moore Hopes Eighteen is Lucky Number in NA Cup

Freehold, NJ --- The colt Eighteen starts from post No. 5 with Paul MacDonell driving for trainer Dr. Ian Moore in the second of Saturday’s (June 11) three eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack. Moore owns the horse with hockey Hall of Famer Serge Savard and the R G McGroup. The same group was behind 2008 Little Brown Jug winner Shadow Play.

Eighteen had no wins as a 2-year-old in nine starts, but appears to be on an upswing this year, with two wins and a second from five starts. Asked if his colt was on the way up, Moore laughed and said, “Hope so.”

“He was a big-bodied colt and he was still a nice 2-year-old; nice enough to go in (1):52, (1):53 and most all his last quarters were :27 and a bit.

“He grew into his body this winter and developed into a nice colt and is getting better every time he races. I still don’t think we’ve quite found the right equipment for him. He was on the last turn (in last week’s Somebeachsomewhere, where he finished fourth in 1:50.2) and he threw in a couple steps and lost a couple lengths, lost momentum.

“That’s sort of been the pattern with him, even as a 2-year-old. I tighten up the hopples one week and he’s good the next week and you begin the week after and so on and so on. First win he had, first start, he got a little rough in the stretch, too. So I took up the hopples and he was OK.

“So I don’t know; it seems to sometimes be around shoeing time and sometimes not. I did find that one of his hopples was a half inch longer than the other. I don’t know how that happened. I’m going to try a couple new pieces of equipment on him Saturday. He’s always carried his head to the left, but not really on one line (which might suggest he is trying to get away from something on his right). He’s always turned his head to the left ever since I’ve had him and I’ve had a line pole on him all along.

“He just touched one ankle, the right-front ankle, just a little bit on Saturday when he got rocky. Prior to it, he never touched anywhere or wore a boot. I’ll try a headpole on him and see if that makes any difference.”

Moore says the colt has a great outlook on racing.

“He’s got a great attitude,” he said. “The thing about him, he can leave real good, he’s right on the gate, no problem. In the stretch, in that quarter, he’s not tired. He’s used to training a mile and a half all the time.”

The colt’s name is derived from co-owner Savard’s number from when he was a multiple Stanley Cup winning Montreal Canadien, and another related angle.

“Also, the day we won the Jug with Shadow Play, he (Savard) came up to me and said, ‘You know we couldn’t lose, Doc. It’s the 18th of September, the 18th race and that was my number when I played hockey -- 18. I thought that would be a good name for a horse, so that’s why we named him that.”

Oh, by the way, the North America Cup elimination race will be Eighteen’s eighteenth career start (counting qualifiers) and the C$1.5 million North America Cup final is June 18.

Here is how the North America Cup eliminations will line up (with listed drivers):

First Elimination - Race 3:
1. Mach Of Ballykeel (Sylvain Filion)
2. Rock To Glory (David Miller)
3. Big Jim (Phil Hudon)
4. Powerful Mist (Tim Tetrick)
5. Bestofbest Hanover (Jack Moiseyev)
6. Rockabillie (Sylvain Filion)
7. Custard The Dragon (Montrell Teague)

Second Elimination - Race 4:
1. Feel Like A Fool (Brian Sears)
2. Betterthancheddar (Brett Miller)
3. Up The Credit (

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