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Ten top pacers ready for North America Cup

Thursday, June 16, 2011  By: Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Ten top pacers ready for North America Cup

Freehold, NJ --- Big Bad John was made the 2-1 morning line favorite for Saturday’s C$1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack, near Toronto, after his connections selected post position No. 4 for the world’s richest pacing race. Big Bad John, trained by Ron Potter and driven by Brett Miller, has won all four of his starts this year and 11 of 13 career races. He was second in his two non-winning outings.

On June 11, Big Bad John won his North America Cup elimination race by 2-1/4 lengths over Roll With Joe in 1:50.3. The top three finishers from three elims advanced to the final, with winners earning the right to select their post position. Dutch Richman and Foreclosure N finished in a dead heat for third place, so both advanced to the final.

Big Bad John’s career victories include divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes last year at Lexington’s Red Mile. The colt qualified for the Breeders Crown final, but was scratched because of illness.

“He’s got a slick gait but to me it’s all about his attitude,” said Potter, who trains Big Bad John for owner Edward Telle’s Winchester Baye Acres. “Every time he goes out there, it’s a fight to him and he’s got the biggest heart; he wants to win.”

Up The Credit, who won his North America Cup elimination by a half-length over Shadyshark Hanover in 1:50.4, was made 5-2 in the morning line for the final. He will start from post two. Jody Jamieson drives the colt for his father, trainer Carl Jamieson, who owns the horse with Thomas Kyron, Brian Paquet and Joanne Morrison.

This year, Up The Credit has won four of five starts, including a division of the Somebeachsomewhere in a stakes-record 1:49. He has won six of 10 lifetime races.

“I think I will be able to get whoever I want in front of me and behind me and have a good trip from there,” Jamieson said about his horse’s starting spot. “Posts one through seven, it’s a tightly contested race. It should be a great race.”

Powerful Mist, who won his North America Cup elim by 1-1/2 lengths over Rockabillie in 1:50.2, is 6-1 in the morning line and will start from post three. David Miller picks up the drive from Tim Tetrick, who handled Powerful Mist in his elimination but will pilot Shadyshark Hanover in the final. Wayne Givens trains Powerful Mist for Legacy Racing of Delaware, Niel Gargiulo and Louie Paglierani. The colt’s 13 career wins include two Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund championships.

Shadyshark Hanover, who was second last year in the Breeders Crown and Governor’s Cup, will start the North America Cup from post five and was made 5-1 in the morning line. He is trained by Erv Miller and owned by the Miller-led Shadyshark Stable.

Big Jim, last year’s division champion in both the U.S. and Canada, got post No. 1 for the North America Cup and is 7-1 in the morning line. He was third in his Cup elim after an effort that saw him get into the action early for a second consecutive week. On June 4, he was second to Up The Credit in their division of the Somebeachsomewhere.

Last season, Big Jim won the Breeders Crown and Governor’s Cup on his way to receiving the O’Brien Award as Canada’s best 2-year-old male pacer and the Dan Patch Award as the best in the States. He began this season by winning the New Jersey Classic and has won eight of 14 career starts. He is trained by James “Friday” Dean, driven by Phil Hudon and owned by Jim Carr.

“I think last week Phil said he was a little warm behind the gate, and he finally moved him (to the front) and he couldn’t get him to settle down,” said Dean, who will add a set of pullout earplugs to Big Jim’s equipment in the hopes of getting the horse to relax. “Generally, he doesn’t get wound up. Last year, you could drive him with two fingers.”

Following is the field for Saturday’s C$1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk, with listed drivers and trainers. The connections of elimination winners Big Bad John, Powerful Mist, and Up The Credit got to pick their post positions; the remainder of the field was drawn. 1. Big Jim, Phil Hudon, James “Friday” Dean; 2. Up The Credit, Jody Jamieson, Carl Jamieson; 3. Powerful Mist, David Miller, Wayne Givens; 4. Big Bad John, Brett Miller, Ron Potter; 5. Shadyshark Hanover, Tim Tetrick, Erv Miller; 6. Rockabillie, Brian Sears, Ian Moore; 7. Roll With Joe, Randy Waples, Ed Hart; 8. Eighteen, Paul MacDonell, Moore; 9. Dutch Richman, Scott Zeron, Miller; 10. Foreclosure N, Sylvain Filion, Mark Steacy.

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