Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 504
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

MILTON, ON - September 1, 2020 - Tall Dark Stranger's dominant performance in the 37th Pepsi North America Cup highlighted a record-setting harness racing evening for Woodbine Entertainment. The 13-race Pepsi North America Cup card on Saturday, August 29 generated a handle of $5,619,396, the highest wagering handle in the 57-year history of racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The $5.6 million total surpassed the previous track and Pepsi North America Cup card record of $5.2 million set in 2016. The 2020 Pepsi North America Cup card handle of $5.6 million was up 47.7 per cent over the 2019 event, which had a handle of $3.8 million. "Saturday night was an extraordinary event during extraordinary times," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "Despite hosting the event without the usual packed crowd, it still had the feel and excitement the Pepsi North America Cup has come to represent while delivering a record handle." The wagering menu for this year's Cup card was headlined by a Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout, which saw $1,189,337 in new money wagered. The new money joined a carryover total of $381,378 and winning horseplayers received a return of $1,559.16 for a $0.20 ticket. The Early Pick-5 saw its largest pool-ever with a total pool of $185,925. The Early Pick-5 is harness racing's largest nightly pool, averaging more than $120,000 a night since live racing resumed in June. A special "All-Stakes" Pick-5 was part of the wagering menu and generated a total pool of $174,313, closing as the second-highest Pick-5 pool in track history. The Early and Late Pick-4 each topped $100,000, coming in at $102,072 and $107,136, respectively. The record-setting handle came during an unprecedented time in the history of the Pepsi North America Cup and Woodbine Entertainment. With strict capacity limits in place due to COVID-19, this year's Pepsi North America Cup was restricted to an invitation-only crowd. Despite being closed to the public, wagering in the Woodbine market was up 4 per cent over last year. Ontario HPIbet wagering on this year's card nearly doubled the number from 2019, up 96.8 per cent. Foreign wagering also saw a significant increase compared to 2019, growing 74 per cent. The limited number of fans onsite and the large number watching on TSN, HPIbet, Darkhorse App and other platforms saw a spectacular performance from pacing superstar Tall Dark Stranger, who became the first-horse to ever win the Metro Pace and Breeders Crown at age two and then return to win the Pepsi North America Cup. Trainer Nancy Takter became the first trainer since 1994 to win back-to-back editions of the Pepsi North America Cup, while driver Yannick Gingras secured his first win in Canada's most-prestigious harness race. "On behalf of Woodbine Entertainment, thank you to our staff and horsepeople for being committed in following our COVID-19 safety protocols during the pandemic, which provided the entire industry with the opportunity to experience this event," said Lawson. "To our fans, thanks for your ongoing patience and we hope to see you back at the track soon, and certainly for next year's North America Cup." The Pepsi North America Cup card featured $2.4 million in purses and kicked-off a stretch of five-consecutive Saturdays with cards containing total purses north of $1 million. The current month of live racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park is stacked with Grand Circuit events, including this Saturday's Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot. The "Grand Circuit Month" at Woodbine Mohawk Park concludes with the $1 million (USD) Mohawk Million and $850,000 Metro Pace on Saturday, September 26. Live racing continues every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, ON -  August 29, 2020 - Harness racing three-year-old pacer Tall Dark Stranger looked like a million dollars in taking the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Trained by Nancy Takter, Tall Dark Stranger and Yannick Gingras were content to let Tattoo Artist make his mark on the lead, as the latter powered from post seven to strike front early in the proceedings. With Bob McClure in the bike, Tattoo Artist took his nine rivals through an opening mile carved out in a snappy :25.4, with Tall Dark Stranger settling in second. Longshots Moneyman Hill, in third, and Mayhem Hanover, sitting fourth, watch the pacesetting duo set the tone early. Soon after the quarter-mile mark, Gingras, contesting his ninth Cup, powered his 3-5 favourite to the outside and to the lead, as they cut a half in :53.3. It was Tall Dark Stranger still calling the shots as the field geared up for the stretch drive. McClure pulled Tattoo Artist to the outside looking to track down the frontunner. For a brief moment, it appeared as though they were cutting into the lead of Tall Dark Stranger, but he pulled away down the lane for another impressive score. Tattoo Artist was second, while 127-1 Moneyman Hill finished third. Odds on Osiris, leaving from post 10, rallied to take fourth. There was plenty of emotion in the aftermath of the victory, including a teary-eyed Gingras, and an elated Marvin Katz, who co-owns Tall Dark Stranger with Crawford Farms Racing, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. It was the second straight Cup title for Takter, who won last year with Captain Crunch. And it was also a historic triumph. "I'm overjoyed, I really am," said Katz. "I've been doing this for a very long time and I've been fortunate to have many great horses, but I think this guy really rates up with some of the greatest horses we've ever seen. This is historic. What he's done tonight has never been done before. He won the Metro as a two-year-old, he won the Breeders Crown - he's come back to win the Meadowlands Pace and he's won the North America Cup. Somebeachsomewhere, Captaintreacherous... they couldn't do it, but he's done it." The enormity of the accomplishment wasn't lost on Takter, who wasn't able to watch the race in-person. "This is an extra-special colt in extraordinary circumstances," she told Woodbine Mohawk Park. "I'm so proud of the horse and my team." Gingras had ample praise for the competitive spirit shown by the sophomore superstar. "I rolled him to three-quarters pretty hard but he just never quits. He's just a tremendous horse - the best pacing colt I've ever driven, there's no doubt in my mind. He's just an amazing animal. I feel awesome, there's no doubt about it. This means so much. I couldn't be any happier right now." Winning trainer Tony Alagna was also represented by Captain Kirk and Captain Barbossa. All of his starters were sired by Captaintreacherous, who won the NA Cup in 2013. A son of 2001 Cup winner Bettors Delight, Tall Dark Stranger, closing in on $2 millions in earnings, is now 14 for 16 lifetime. "I think he's just stronger than they are right now, and he can get them tired just by trying to keep up with him," said Gingras. Tall Dark Stranger paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.40, combining with Tattoo Artist ($4.30, $3.50) for a $16.20 exactor. Moneyman Hill ($20.70) completed a $2 triactor worth $476.40. Odds On Osiris rounded out a $1 superfecta worth $2,596.30. Saturday evening's Pepsi North America Cup card established a new Pepsi North America Cup handle record of $5,619,402. The handle was headlined by $1.1 million in new money wagered on the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout. by Chris Lomon, for Woodbine Communications  

MILTON, August 28, 2020 - It might be uncommon for a harness racing driver to pick up a horse for a million-dollar final and win the race, but Jody Jamieson knows it is possible. And he hopes history repeats itself Saturday when he drives Captain Kirk in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Captain Kirk won his North America Cup elimination last weekend by three-quarters of a length over Allywag Hanover in 1:49.3 with Bob McClure in the sulky for trainer Tony Alagna. McClure will drive 2019 Ontario Sire Stakes champion Tattoo Artist in the final, presenting Jamieson the opportunity to pick up Captain Kirk. Fourteen years ago, Jamieson picked up the drive behind Yankee Skyscaper for the million-dollar Metro Pace final. John Campbell drove Yankee Skyscaper to a second-place finish in his elimination but opted for elim winner Artzina in the final. Jamieson won the race from post eight for trainer Chris Ryder and the Yankee Skyscaper Partners, a group that included some of the same owners of Captain Kirk. "It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, I'm glad that I'm the guy they tap on the shoulder to drive them," Jamieson said. "I was obviously thrilled to go with (Yankee Skyscaper), and I ended up winning, so it worked out really good." Captain Kirk is 3-1 on the North America Cup morning line, second choice behind 7-5 favorite Tall Dark Stranger. A son of Captaintreacherous out of Aria Hanover, Captain Kirk has won two of his last three starts, including the Tompkins-Geers Stakes on Aug. 1 at The Meadowlands, where the field included Tall Dark Stranger and Allywag Hanover. He finished third in the Cane Pace, behind Tall Dark Stranger and stablemate and Cup finalist Capt Midnight. Jamieson will be driving Captain Kirk for the first time on Saturday. Jody Jamieson "There are more zeros (in the purse) for sure, but it's just another race and I have to prepare the same way I always prepare," Jamieson said. "You want to make sure you know the horses, have a plan going in, and be willing to change the plan when the gate folds. "I've run the race over in my head a few times already. There are multiple scenarios. One thing for sure, I think Tattoo Artist will be going forward and I think Allywag Hanover will be going forward, so they're going to mix it up a little bit. We'll see how that plays out." Jamieson is a two-time winner of the North America Cup, capturing the event with Tell All in 2007 and Up The Credit in 2011. Only John Campbell, with a record six Cup victories, and Mike Lachance, with three, have won the race more than twice. "With any of these big races, it's so nice to be in them let alone win them," said Jamieson, who has been Canada's Driver of the Year on three occasions. "I wasn't in the race last year, so I'm happy to be in it with a horse that has a chance this year. It would be nice to get three, for sure. This is one of the ones you want to win each time." Captain Kirk is one of three horses in the race from Alagna's stable. Capt Midnight, who finished second by a head to Tall Dark Stranger in his elimination, is 9-2 on the morning line and Captain Barbossa, who was fourth in the same elim, one length behind the winner, is 15-1. Capt Midnight will start from post five with Doug McNair in the sulky while Captain Barbossa leaves from post nine with James MacDonald. MacDonald was injured in a racing accident Aug. 1 and returned to action last week. "When I got hurt, I thought there was no chance I would make it back in time," said MacDonald, who suffered a concussion and broken collarbone. "I worked hard with my doctors and they were able to get me back. I'm just happy to be in the race. MacDonald picked up the drive behind Captain Barbossa from Louis Roy, who will drive Allywag Hanover in the final. It will be MacDonald's first time driving the horse. The son of Captaintreacherous-Swinging Beauty has won three of 22 lifetime starts and $180,256. "I'm going to watch some replays and get a feel for what he likes and I'll talk to Tony, obviously," MacDonald said. "I talked to Louis after the race last week, before I even knew I was driving him, and Louis was really pleased with him. He had lots of go; he came a wicked back half and never really had clear sailing. Louis was really high on him. I expect that with a good trip he'll give a good effort. "(Post nine) is just a starting spot. Hopefully, we can work something out. If the horse gets a trip, I think he's coming into the race in good form and Tony has always got his horses ready to go for the big money. I expect him to be very good." MacDonald is making his North America Cup debut. James MacDonald "This is as big as it gets in Canada," MacDonald said. "I was lucky enough to win the (Canadian Pacing) Derby last year but it doesn't get any bigger than the NA Cup. That's the goal when you drive horses, to win these big ones. This is it." Capt Midnight, by Captaintreacherous out of It Was Fascination, won multiple Grand Circuit stakes last year. For his career, he has seven victories in 17 starts and $392,338. "He might have surprised some people last week by almost beating Tall Dark Stranger, but he's a really good horse," McNair said. "He's just like driving a Cadillac. He's good gaited and versatile. You can do what you want with him, and when it's go time, he goes. He's a pleasure to drive." McNair, Canada's Driver of the Year in 2017, is seeking his first North America Cup trophy. "It's going to be a good race," McNair said. "I think there is going to be a lot of speed. There are a couple horses on the outside that they can't take off the gate if they have any shot of winning and there is a lot of speed from the inside too." Doug McNair This year's Pepsi North America Cup card features nine stakes races and purses totaling $2.4 million. The $400,000 Fan Hanover, $290,000 Roses Are Red, $220,000 Armbro Flight, $234,058 Nassagaweya (two divisions) and $214,645 Eternal Camnation (three divisions) make up the Cup undercard. The 37th Pepsi North America Cup has been carded as race 11 and has a post time of 10:43 p.m. (EDT). Fans can watch live coverage on TSN4 from 10-11. Free program pages for Saturday's card are available here. Racing begins at 6:30. Ken Weingartner - USTA Media

MILTON, August 25, 2020 - The 37th Pepsi North America Cup for a purse of $1-million headlines a stakes-filled card this Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Originally scheduled for June 20, this year's Pepsi North America Cup card is worth the wait as it'll feature nine stakes races and purses totalling $2.4 million. The $400,000 Fan Hanover, $290,000 Roses Are Red, $220,000 Armbro Flight, $234,058 Nassagaweya (two divisions) and $214,645 Eternal Camnation (three divisions) makes up the Cup undercard. Tall Dark Stranger is the favourite heading into the Pepsi North America Cup. The Nancy Takter trainee is looking to become the first horse to ever win the Metro Pace and Breeders Crown at age two and then return to win the Cup at age three. A son of 2001 Cup winner Bettors Delight, Tall Dark Stranger dug in for driver Yannick Gingras to prevail by a head over Capt Midnight in 1:48.4 during last Saturday's first elimination. The multiple award-winning colt is 13 for 15 lifetime with $1.4 million earned for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. Tall Dark Stranger Trainer Takter is one for one in the Cup, winning last year's edition with Captain Crunch. Gingras will be searching for his first Cup win in his ninth appearance. Tony Alagna will send out three starters in hopes of capturing his second Pepsi North America Cup. All three of Alagna's starters are sired by his Cup winning trainee Captaintreacherous, who took the title in 2013. Captain Kirk powered home impressively in :25.4 to pick off Allywag Hanover and capture last Saturday's second Cup elimination in 1:49.3. The speedy 'Kirk' is two for six this season, three for 15 overall and has earned $194,280 for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant and Captain Kirk Racing. The only loss on Tall Dark Stranger's record this season was in the Geers Stakes on August 1, a race that Captain Kirk won in a career-best 1:48.3. Jody Jamieson will get the call behind Captain Kirk after driver Bob McClure opted to go with the Dr. Ian Moore trained Ontario Sires Stakes star Tattoo Artist, who was fifth in his elimination. Jamieson is a two-time Cup winner (Tell All - 2007, Up The Credit - 2011) and will be making his 10th appearance in the race. The Alagna barn will also send out Capt Midnight, runner up to Tall Dark Stranger, and Captain Barbossa, who posted a :25.3 final-quarter to finish fourth in that same race. This year's Cup will have four Ontario sired starters, as Tall Dark Stranger (Bettors Delight), Mayhem Hanover (Sportswriter), Denali Seelster (Sunshine Beach) and Tattoo Artist (Hes Watching) will wear the trillium. Trainer Brett Pelling has more Cup wins than all of this year's Cup trainers combined and will look to add to his total with Allywag Hanover. The legendary conditioner has won the race three-times (Davids Pass - 1995, The Panderosa - 1999, Rocknroll Hanover - 2005). Louis-Philippe Roy will make his second Cup start behind 'Allywag'. A pair of drivers and a pair of trainers will be making their Cup debuts on Saturday. Moneyman Hill offers the regular Woodbine duo of driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Carmen Auciello their first crack at the Cup. James MacDonald has picked up the drive on Captain Barbossa for his first Cup drive, while trainer Melanie Wrenn sends out her first Cup starter in Odds On Osiris. The Pepsi North America Cup record is 1:47.2, established last year by Captain Crunch. Favourites have won 15 of 36 editions of the Cup, but only three of the last 11. Bettors Delight holds the record for largest margin of victory at 4½ lengths in 2001, while the Cup has been decided three-times by a nose (Quite A Sensation - 1986, Jate Lobell - 1987, Arizona Jack - 1996). The 37th Pepsi North America Cup has been carded as Race 11 and has a post time of 10:43 p.m. Fans can watch live coverage of this year's $1-million on TSN4 from 10-11 p.m. The full field for this year's Pepsi North America Cup is listed below. The number beside a driver's name indicates number of Cup starts. The number beside a trainer's number indicates number of Cup starters. A name in bold indicates Cup winner. 1 Mayhem Hanover - Doug McNair (3) - Gregg McNair (3) 2 Moneyman Hill - Jonathan Drury (0) - Carmen Auciello (0) 3 Captain Kirk - Jody Jamieson (9) - Tony Alagna (7) 4 Tall Dark Stranger - Yannick Gingras (8) - Nancy Takter (1) 5 Capt Midnight - Doug McNair (3) - Tony Alagna (7) 6 Denali Seelster - Trevor Henry (2) - Dr. Ian Moore (5) 7 Tattoo Artist - Bob McClure (1) - Dr. Ian Moore (5) 8 Allywag Hanover - Louis-Philippe Roy (1) - Brett Pelling (5) 9 Captain Barbossa - James MacDonald (0) - Tony Alagna (7) 10 Odds On Osiris - Sylvain Filion (5) - Melanie Wrenn (0)   STACKED CUP UNDERCARD Many of the sport's top performers and some of the new stars will take to the track on Pepsi North America Cup night. The Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red and Armbro Flight were all moved with the Cup from their original date on June 20. The Nassagaweya and Eternal Camnation were both originally scheduled for this Saturday and now have an even bigger platform to shine. Party Girl Hill is looking to run her perfect record to eight for eight in the $400,000 Fan Hanover. The Tom Hill homebred did not race at two, but has taken the racing scene by storm this season with several dazzling performances. A daughter of Captaintreacherous, Party Girl Hill sprinted home in :26.1 to hold off Lady Lou for a 1:50 victory in last Saturday's elimination. Doug McNair sat behind the filly for the first-time and helped push her over $200,000 in earnings. Trained by Chris Ryder, Party Girl Hill joined the barn of trainer Chantal Mitchell for her visit to Canada. Mitchell will also send out O'Brien Award winner Alicorn, who was second in her elimination last weekend. Peaky Sneaky was the quickest of the elimination winners, stopping the clock in 1:49.1 last Saturday. The Nancy Takter trainee will again be steered by Yannick Gingras. The Fan Hanover is carded as Race 8 (9:24 p.m.) The $290,000 Roses Are Red for older pacing mares will see a field of eight battle. Kissin In The Sand was to be the ninth horse in the field, but has been scratched. The group of mares will be hungry for a major stakes score, as the division leader and last year's winner Shartin N is absent from the event. Her trainer Jim King Jr. will still be represented by Soho Burning Love A, who has three wins and six top-two finishes in 10 starts this season. Ron Burke trainee Warrawee Ubeaut has struggled through five starts this season, but the four-year-old is returning to the site of her Breeders Crown victory last fall. Philly Hanover, Trillions Hanover, So Much More and Stonebridge Soul are the other four-year-olds in the field. The Roses Are Red is carded as Race 10 (10:14 p.m.) Trainer Ron Burke is going for his fifth consecutive victory in the Armbro Flight, as he sends out last year's winner Atlanta. The superstar trotting mare won last year's event in a Canadian record time of 1:50.2 to piggyback on her former stablemate Hannelore Hanover, who had won the event in each of the three years prior. Atlanta is the star of the show in the eight-horse field. The $220,000 Armbro Flight is carded as Race 3 (7:44 p.m.). The Eternal Camnation for two-year-old pacing fillies will have three divisions (Races 1, 2, 12) on Saturday's card, while the Nassagaweya for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings will have two splits (Races 7, 9). A $36,000 Preferred Handicap Pace is also on tap and features a pair of Breeders Crown champions. American History will be going for back-to-back wins at Mohawk Park, while Dancin Lou returns to the site of his Crown triumph last year at three. The Preferred Handicap is Race 5 (8:09 p.m.). The wagering menu for Saturday's card has been enhanced to include a $100,000 Early Pick-5 (starts Race 1), an 'All-Stakes' Pick-5 (starts Race 7) and a Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout (Race 11). The carryover for the Jackpot Hi-5 is $381,378.37. To view early program pages for the entire card, click here. A special first-race post time of 6:30 p.m. has been set for the Pepsi North America Cup card. Fans can catch live coverage of the 37th Pepsi North America Cup on TSN4 from 10-11 p.m. Horseplayers can watch and wager on the entire card through HPIbet and the new Dark Horse App offers rookie and veteran horseplayers a great option to get in the action. Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications & Content O: 416-675-7223 x4305 C: 905-864-9110    

MILTON, August 24, 2020 - The post-position draw for the 37th Pepsi North America Cup has taken place this evening (August 24) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Jason Portuondo hosted the festivities, which include remarks from Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, and a highlight package of this year's starters. Hall of Fame driver Steve Condren was this year's drawmaster, joining Scott McKelvie, Race Secretary for Mohawk Park, to conduct the draw. Condren won the North America Cup in 1989 with Goalie Jeff. Elimination winners Captain Kirk and Tall Dark Stranger have already selected their posts for the $1-million final. Tall Dark Stranger won the draw to select first, choosing post-four, while Captain Kirk took post-three. Mark Melvie  

Brilliant He’s Watching colt Tattoo Artist, the winner of three $100,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Finals this year, is among the leading fancies for the harness racing $1 million Pepsi North America Cup to be run at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday (August 29). The joint leader in the OSS pointscore standings, Tattoo Artist has won five of his seven starts this year for $139,345 in stakes and with a mark of 1:48.4 is the fastest pacer in Canada in 2020. He’s Watching is enjoying a boom season with his three-year-olds in North America. From a foal crop of 77, he has had 56 starters and they have amassed almost $500,000 in stakes. Leading the vanguard for He’s Watching last weekend was the New Zealand-bred three-year-old gelding Pocket Watch, who led from end to end in 1:53 at Harrah’s Philadelphia at his American debut. Other recent He’s Watching winners in North America have been Dontblvmejustwatch (1:54.2), Retour Au Jeu (1:55.8), Gucci Eyepatch (1:58.4) and Panerai (1:59.8). On the home front, Lester became He’s Watching’s seventh individual two-year-old winner at Shepparton. Of He’s Watching’s first Australian crop of 57 foals, 18 have been winners – an impressive 32 percent strike rate. He’s Watching is standing this season at Luke Primmer’s Tipperary Equine stud, Young (NSW). Peter Wharton

MILTON, August 22, 2020 - Tall Dark Stranger will have an opportunity to make history following a game performance to win one of two eliminations for the 37th Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A pair of $50,000 eliminations were contested to determine the field for next Saturday's $1-million final. Top-ranked Tall Dark Stranger fought off rivals from all directions to win the first elimination, while Captain Kirk surged to victory in the second elimination. Nancy Takter trainee Tall Dark Stranger will now have an opportunity to become the first horse to ever win the Metro Pace and Breeders Crown at age two and then return to win the Pepsi North America Cup at age three. The hard-fought first elimination saw Tall Dark Stranger parked around the first turn while making his way towards the front. Odds On Osiris and driver Sylvain Filion fired out to the lead and forced the speedy Tattoo Artist into the two-hole. The opening-quarter was paced in :26.1. Tall Dark Stranger promptly cleared to the lead in the second-quarter and led the field up to the half in :55. Beaumond Hanover angled out from fourth going to the half, appearing to try and flush out Tattoo Artist, who remained along the wood. 'Beaumond' made the grind the first-up to the leader's wheel at three-quarters with Capt Midnight second-over, Beach Blanket Book and Captain Barbossa third and fourth-over, respectively. Tall Dark Stranger turned the field for home off three-quarters in 1:22.1. The stretch battle saw all starters in the hunt to create a finish where first through seventh was separated by just 2 ½ lengths. Tall Dark Stranger held off the charging Capt Midnight by a head to win in 1:48.4. Odds On Osiris came up the rail to finish third by half a length. Captain Barbossa split between rivals to finish fourth. Tattoo Artist was trying to find room up the inside and just edged out Beaumond Hanover for the fifth and final spot in the final. "It was definitely closer than I liked," admitted Gingras following Tall Dark Stranger's win. "The horse just refused to lose, he's a winner. Halfway down the stretch I thought he'd definitely be beat, and he just kept putting his nose in front." The hard-fought victory came despite an equipment issue for Tall Dark Stranger. "The ear-plugs got stuck," said Gingras. "I tried to kick it with my foot and they wouldn't come out and then I grabbed it with my hand and I grabbed it so hard the whole thing came back to me, but the ear-plugs are still in his ears." A son of Bettors Delight, Tall Dark Stranger has now won five of six this season and earned $505,131 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. The winner of $1.4 million lifetime now has 13 trips to the winner's circle during his racing career. Trainer Takter won last year's Cup with Captain Crunch and will be searching next Saturday for the repeat. Tall Dark Stranger will look to become the first Metro Pace winner to come back and win the Cup since Captaintreacherous completed the feat in 2013. A $2 win ticket on Tall Dark Stranger paid $2.50. Tall Dark Stranger Captain Kirk powered home strongly to pick off Allywag Hanover in the second elimination. Allywag Hanover and driver Louis-Philippe Roy left hard and claimed the front just ahead of a :25.4 opening-quarter. Roy slowed things down in the second-quarter to grab a soft :55.3 half. Captain Kirk and driver Bob McClure moved out from fifth in the second-quarter and started moving first-up. Allywag Hanover and Roy took off in the third-quarter going :26.3 to create separation of a couple-lengths at three-quarters in 1:22.1. Captain Kirk remained first-up and still three-lengths from the lead. In the stretch, Allywag Hanover couldn't go the distance and watched Captain Kirk power by late with a :25.4 final-quarter to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:49.3. Mayhem Hanover crossed the line third, while Moneyman Hill and Denali Seelster completed the top-five. "We didn't get away as good as I wanted, but when Louis (Roy) really backed down that second-quarter which kind of helped me," said McClure of the winning-trip. "He got to mosey his way up around the front without doing too much work...when we straightened away, I kicked the plugs and he just dug and dug and dug. He's a classy horse." Trained by by Tony Alagna, Captain Kirk now has two wins in six starts this season and $119,274 earned. The son of Captaintreacherous increased his career numbers to three wins and $194,280 earned for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant and Captain Kirk Racing. Captain Kirk entered the Cup eliminations off a third-place finish in the Cane Pace. His prior start was a career-best 1:48.3 victory in the Geers Stakes, a race in which he defeated first elimination winner Tall Dark Stranger. A $2 win ticket on Captain Kirk returned $5. Captain Kirk Captain Kirk The elimination winners earned their connections the right to select their post for next week's final. Tall Dark Stranger won the draw to choose first and selected post-four, while Captain Kirk selected post-three. Velocity Rukkus won the draw to be the first also eligible, while Beaumond Hanover is the second also-eligible. The post-position draw will be completed on Monday evening. Hall of Fame driver and former Cup winner Steve Condren (1989, Goalie Jeff) will join Race Secretary Scott McKelvie to assist with the draw. Jason Portuondo will host the draw, which can be seen on the 'Woodbine Racing Live' simulcast starting at 6 p.m. The $1-million Pepsi North America Cup headlines a $2-million card next Saturday (August 29). Post time is set for 6:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

MILTON, ON - August 20, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment today announced a mandatory payout for the Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 on Saturday, August 29 at Mohawk Park. Harness Racing horseplayers will have just a few more opportunities to hit the Jackpot prior to the mandatory payout, as the wager will be suspended following this Saturday's (August 22) card in preparation for the mandatory payout. The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover currently sits at $324,277 heading into Thursday's program. The mandatory payout will be part of an enhanced wagering menu for the Pepsi North America Cup card. The full wagering menu will be announced early next week. Live racing is conducted every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Coral Springs, FL - The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) with Scott Alberg, have come up with the best free handicapping contest of the 2020 harness racing season and it all revolves around the Pepsi North America Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Toronto, Canada. The contest is called USHWA Drive Me Some Cash, and contestants must try and select the correct exacta finish (first and second place) in the 6th race this Saturday, August 22. The contest will be open to enter on Thursday, August 20. USHWA current members are not eligible to enter. There will be three grand prize winners chosen from the people that select the correct exacta finish. There will be a first, second and third place finishers selected from a virtual drawing at noon on Sunday, August 23, 2020. Then the contest gets even better for the three winners as the following week the first, second and third place finishers select a driver competing on Pepsi North America Cup Night (Saturday, August 29), and USHWA will play $10 to win (1st prize), $5.00 to win (2nd prize) or $2.00 to win (3rd prize) on every race the driver they select is competing in. The three winning contestants must make their driver selections after scratch time that Thursday. Winning contestants cannot choose a driver that is already selected. 1st place names their driver first, 2nd place names second and 3rd place names their driver third. The chance to win hundreds of dollars in cash is likely with this special contest as some of the top drivers in harness racing could be competing in ten or more races that evening. For the complete rules and regulations for USHWA Drive Me Some Cash is on the USHWA website at www.usharnesswriters.com. This Saturday's exacta selections must be entered on Scott Alberg's Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/scott.alberg.3 by 6:00 pm. Anyone who is not on Facebook and wants to enter the competition can do so by 6:00 pm Saturday by emailing their exacta selection to CustomerService@4NJPicks.com. By Steve Wolf, for USHWA  

Harness Racing This Week: Zweig Memorials, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y.; North America Cup and Fan Hanover eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ont., and Gold Cup and Saucer final, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino, Charlottetown, PEI. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off this Friday (Aug. 21) as Vernon Downs will host the $330,000 Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old open trotters and the $160,140 Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday (Aug. 22), Woodbine Mohawk Park will host a pair of C$50,000 eliminations in the North America Cup for 3-year-old open pacers and a pair of C$35,000 eliminations in the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers. Also on Saturday, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino will host the C$60,000 Gold Cup and Saucer final for older pacers. Complete entries for the Vernon races are available at this link. Entries for the Canadian races are available at this link. Last time: Last year's Indiana Sire Stakes champion, Odds On Osiris, left the Hoosier State for the first time to compete, and made it count by winning the $250,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at MGM Northfield Park on Saturday night (Aug. 15). Odds On Osiris won the $250,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at MGM Northfield Park. JJ Zamaiko photo. Odds On Osiris left from post two to take the initial lead before relinquishing the top to Ocean Rock (Dan Noble). "My plan was to try and hold position around the one (Catch The Fire), but he didn't get out that strong," explained driver Peter Wrenn. "Then I had the lead and controlled the decision from there." Odds On Osiris was content receiving the garden trip through fractions of :26, :55 and 1:22.1. Wrenn pulled Odds On Osiris in the final turn and he battled Ocean Rock to the wire, eventually besting him by a quarter-length in 1:50.1. The clocking represents a new lifetime mark for Odds On Osiris. Odds On Osiris (Rockin Image-Antigua Hanover) is owned by Odds On Racing. Saturday's victory was the ninth career score for Odds On Osiris. The win brings the Melanie Wrenn trainee's lifetime earnings to $500,395. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 327; 2. Tim Tetrick - 244; 3. Andrew McCarthy - 237; 4. Dexter Dunn - 229; 5. Brian Sears - 219. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 316; 2. Nancy Takter - 250; 3. Marcus Melander - 203; 4. Tony Alagna - 192; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 164. Owners: 1. S R F Stable - 82.5; 2. Brad Grant - 82.4; 3, Courant Inc. - 67; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 66.3; 5. Crawford Farms Racing - 59.7. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at Woodbine Mohawk Park with the North America Cup final for 3-year-old open pacers, the Fan Hanover final for 3-year-old filly pacers, the Roses Are Red for open pacing mares and the Armbro Flight for older trotting mares leading a busy week of stakes action. Mohawk will host a total of 10 stakes over three days. bu Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit  

MILTON, ON - August 18, 2020 - The harness racing field for the 37th Pepsi North America Cup will be determined by two $50,000 eliminations this Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A total of 15 three-year-old pacers were entered in Canada's most prestigious harness race, forcing two eliminations with the top-five finishers in each advancing to the $1 million final. The first $50,000 elimination can be classified as a 'must-see' race with the highly accomplished Tall Dark Stranger leading the field of eight. The stacked split also includes Ontario Sires Stakes stars Tattoo Artist and Beaumond Hanover, Milstein Memorial winner Odds On Osiris and last year's standout Capt Midnight. Tall Dark Stranger offers trainer Nancy Takter a strong chance at a second consecutive Pepsi North America Cup title after she won last year's edition with Captain Crunch. The son of Bettors Delight is coming in off a career-best 1:47.1 victory in the Cane Pace. Yannick Gingras will take his usual spot behind Tall Dark Stranger in Saturday's Cup elimination. Tall Dark Stranger will look to become the first horse to ever win the Metro Pace and Breeders Crown at age two and then win the Pepsi North America Cup the following year. Metro Pace champions have come back to win the Pepsi North America Cup five-times (Presidential Ball 1992-93, Rocknroll Hanover 2004-05, Somebeachsomewhere 2007-08, Sportswriter 2009-10, Captaintreacherous 2012-13). Breeders Crown champions at two have won the Pepsi North America Cup three-times (Bettors Delight 2000-01, Well Said 2008-09, Captain Crunch 2018-19). Jack Darling's Beaumond Hanover and Dr. Ian Moore's Tattoo Artist will finally meet after dominating the OSS this season. Both sophomores carry length win streaks into the Cup eliminations and both were victorious in OSS Gold action on Sunday night at Rideau. Tattoo Artist has won five in a row and holds a mark of 1:48.2, while Beaumond Hanover has won four straight and has stopped the clock in 1:49.1. Odds On Osiris made a name for himself last Saturday by winning the $250,000 Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park. The Melanie Wrenn trainee had never raced outside Indiana until that start and found the winner's circle with her husband Peter Wrenn steering. He enters the Cup two for four this season and nine for 14 overall. Trainer Tony Alagna sends out Capt Midnight and Captain Barbossa in the opening split as part of three horses he's entered in this year's Cup eliminations. Capt Midnight won five of six starts at Mohawk Park as a rookie, including the Dream Maker, Nassagaweya and Champlain. He was most recently second to Tall Dark Stranger in the Cane Pace. Captain Barbossa is winless in seven starts this season, but has raced in the finals of the Meadowlands Pace and Adios. The first elimination also includes the gritty Beach Blanket Book, who has won three of eight and finished top-two six times this season for Blake MacIntosh, and local starter Warrawee Vital, who is making just his second start in the last six and a half months and is trained by Rob Fellows. The first elimination is carded as Race 6 with a post time of 9:05 p.m. The starters in the second elimination will have their eyes open wide in search of a top result after missing many of the top contenders competing in the first split. Allywag Hanover is four for six and the top earner in the field at $157,920 banked this season. The Brett Pelling trainee was third in the Meadowlands Pace final last month and enters the Cup elimination off a 1:49.1 victory in a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes division last Tuesday. Pelling is a three-time Cup winning trainer, having captured the race with Rocknroll Hanover (2005), The Panderosa (1999) and Davids Pass (1995). This will be Pelling's first crack at the Cup since returning to North America a couple years back following 11-years in his home country of Australia. Captain Kirk is the third member of the Alagna barn competing in Saturday's eliminations and is the only horse to hold a win over Tall Dark Stranger this season. The Alagna trainee won the Geers Stakes on August 1 in a career-best 1:48.3 and last time out was third in the Cane Pace. A quartet of Woodbine's most prominent trainers will send out starters in the second elimination. Carmen Auciello and Rod Boyd will be in search of their first Cup appearance. Auciello sends out Moneyman Hill, while Boyd sends out Aneto. Dr. Moore trainee Denali Seelster will look to emerge from the shadow of his prominent stablemate Tattoo Artist. Gregg McNair sends out Mayhem Hanover, who was last year's OSS Grassroots champion. The second elimination field is completed by Velocity Rukkus, who races for trainer Mark Evers and has competed at Mohawk Park in each of the last two seasons. The second Pepsi North America Cup elimination is carded as Race 8 with an approximate post time of 9:55 p.m. The winners of Saturday's eliminations will earn their connections the opportunity to select their post position for the final. The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup final is scheduled for Saturday, August 29. ELIMINATION #1 - RACE 6 1 - Beaumond Hanover (Jody Jamieson/Jack Darling) 2 - Warrawee Vital (Trevor Henry/Rob Fellows) 3 - Tall Dark Stranger (Yannick Gingras/Nancy Takter) 4 - Capt Midnight (Doug McNair/Tony Alagna) 5 - Odds On Osiris (Peter Wrenn/Melanie Wrenn) 6 - Beach Blanket Book (Doug McNair/Blake MacIntosh) 7 - Tattoo Artist (Bob McClure/Dr. Ian Moore) 8 - Captain Barbossa (Louis-Philippe Roy/Tony Alagna) ELIMINATION #2 - RACE 8 1 - Captain Kirk (Mark MacDonald/Tony Alagna) 2 - Velocity Rukkus (Randy Waples/Mark Evers) 3 - Moneyman Hill (Jonathan Drury/Carmen Auciello) 4 - Aneto (Chris Christoforou/Rod Boyd) 5 - Denali Seelster (Trevor Henry/Dr. Ian Moore) 6 - Mayhem Hanover (Doug McNair/Gregg McNair) 7 - Allywag Hanover (Louis-Philippe Roy/Brett Pelling) Post time for Saturday's (August 22) card is 7 p.m. FAN HANOVER ATTRACTS 16 The Pepsi North America Cup card on August 29 will once again include the Fan Hanover, Armbro Flight and Roses Are Red. The Fan Hanover for three-year-old pacing fillies has attracted 16 entrants, split into a pair of $35,000 eliminations. The undefeated Party Girl Hill makes her Mohawk Park debut in the second Fan Hanover elimination. The Chris Ryder trainee joins the stable of Chantal Mitchell in search of her seventh win in as many starts. Fresh off a 1:49 PASS victory, Party Girl Hill will square off with seven rivals that includes star Indiana filly Priceless, OSS Gold winners Karma Seelster and Lauras Love. The first Fan Hanover elimination features last year's O'Brien Award winner Alicorn. The Mitchell trainee is looking to get back in the winner's circle after back-to-back fourth-place finishes. Linda Toscano trainee Rocknificent is the current standout of the group. She's won three of six starts this season and has never finished outside the top-three. The Toscano trainees wins came in a pair of PASS events and the Geers Stakes. ELIMINATION #1 - RACE 2 1 - Rocknificent (Bob McClure/Linda Toscano) 2 - Rose Run Victoria (Robert Shepherd/Rod Boyd) 3 - Beach Sports (Doug McNair/Gregg McNair) 4 - Perfect Storm (Trevor Henry/Bob McIntosh) 5 - Betalady (Chris Christoforou/Susie Kerwood) 6 - Nectar (Louis-Philippe Roy/Stephen Charlton) 7 - Alicorn (Louis-Philippe Roy/Chantal Mitchell) 8 - Peaky Sneaky (Yannick Gingras/Nancy Takter) ELIMINATION #2 - RACE 3 1 - All Day Sunshine (Louis-Philippe Roy/Dan Lagace) 2 - Party Girl Hill (Doug McNair/Chantal Mitchell) 3 - Priceless (Yannick Gingras/Brandon Bates) 4 - Karma Seelster (Doug McNair/Gregg McNair) 5 - Rose Run Vantage (Sylvain Filion/Anthony Beaton) 6 - Off The Press (Robert Shepherd/Rod Boyd) 7 - Lauras Love (Bob McClure/John Pentland) 8 - Lady Lou (Doug McNair/Tony Alagna) The Fan Hanover eliminations have been carded as Races 2 and 3. The final will go for a purse of $400,000. There are no eliminations for the Armbro Flight and Roses Are Red. This year's Armbro Flight for older trotting mares and Roses Are Red for older pacing mares did not require eliminations, as all horses entered go directly to their respective finals on the Pepsi North America Cup undercard. Superstar Atlanta will return to defend her Armbro Flight crown, taking on seven rivals. The Ron Burke trainee won last year's final in a Track, Stakes and Canadian Record time of 1:50.2. The field for the $220,000 Armbro Flight is listed below in alphabetical order: Atlanta Felicityshagwell S Hey Livvy Lefkada Only Take Cash Plunge Blue Chip Pure Chance Superlative The Roses Are Red will see a competitive group of nine older pacing mares clash. Kissin In The Sand and Seaswift Joy N are the only returnees from last year's final. This year's field of nine includes five four-year-olds (Philly Hanover, So Much More, Stonebridge Soul, Trillions Hanover and Warrawee Ubeaut). The field for the $290,000 Roses Are Red is listed below in alphabetical order: Kissin In The Sand Major Occasion A Philly Hanover Seaswift Joy N So Much More Soho Burning Love A Stonebridge Soul Trillions Hanover Warrawee Ubeaut PEPSI NORTH AMERICA CUP CLOSED TO GENERAL PUBLIC Woodbine Entertainment announced Tuesday that this year's Pepsi North America Cup will not be open to the general public. The event will be invite-only. For full details, click here. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment   

MILTON, ON - August 18, 2020 - The entry box for the 37th Pepsi North America Cup closed Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. with 15 three-year-old harness racing pacers entered. Eliminations will be required for the Pepsi North America Cup to determine the field for the $1 million final on Saturday, August 29 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A pair of $50,000 elimination races, with the top-five finishers from each advancing, will take place this Saturday (August 22). The winners of Saturday's elimination races will earn their connections the opportunity to select their post for the final. The draw for the Pepsi North America Cup eliminations will be held today and the entries will be released this afternoon. Below are the names (listed alphabetically) of the 15 horses entered in the Pepsi North America Cup. Allywag Hanover  (Captaintreacherous  -  Anderosa Hanover - The Panderosa) Aneto  (Bettors Delight - JK Sure I Can - Rocknroll Hanover) Beach Blanket Book  (Sportswriter -  Beach Bonnet - Camluck) Beaumond Hanover  (Sportswriter - Bittorsweet Terror - Western Terror) Capt Midnight  (Captaintreacherous - It Was Fascination - American Ideal) Captain Barbossa  (Captaintreacherous - Swinging Beauty - Art Major) Captain Kirk  (Captaintreacherous - Aria Hanover - Well Said) Denali Seelster  (Sunshine Beach - Demi Seelster - Camluck) Mayhem Hanover  (Sportswriter - Musicale Hanover - Rocknroll Hanover) Moneyman Hill  (Sombeachsomewhere - Beyonce Blue Chip - Art Major) Odds On Osiris  (Rockin Image - Antigua Hanover - Somebeachsomewhere) Tall Dark Stranger  (Bettors Delight - Precocoius Beauty - Art Major)  Tattoo Artist  (Hes Watching - Stylish Artist - Artsplace) Velocity Rukkus  (Sportswriter -  Maureen Rocks - Rocknroll Hanover) Warrawee Vital  (Captaintreacherous - Great Memories - Apaches Fame) Woodbine Entertainment today announced the upcoming 37th Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday, August 29 at Mohawk Park will not be open to the general public.   This year’s event will be invite-only to a very limited number of guests in order to comply with the current capacity limits imposed by the province of Ontario due to COVID-19.      “This year’s fall stakes schedule at Woodbine Mohawk Park is unprecedented and it all kicks off with the Pepsi North America Cup on August 29,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “We wish we could welcome our fans to the race this year, but the health and safety of our guests, employees, horsepeople and community remains paramount. We hope everyone tunes in online or on TSN as it’s going to be a great night of racing.”  Invitations will be extended by Woodbine in order of connections competing in the Pepsi North America Cup, horses racing in undercard stakes and horses competing in overnights. Woodbine will also extend invitations to a select number of dignitaries and high-volume horseplayers.    Fans watching from home will be able to enjoy the entire Pepsi North America Cup card through a variety of platforms.   TSN will have a special live one-hour broadcast of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, airing from 10-11 p.m. The simulcast of the entire Pepsi North America Cup will be available on HPItv, Woodbine Mohawk Park’s official website and HPIbet.com. Fans can also wager through Dark Horse™, which can be downloaded in the App Store and on Android devices.    The 37th Pepsi North America Cup will feature the finest three-year-old pacers from across the continent competing for $1 million. More than $2 million in purses will be up for grabs on the Pepsi North America Cup card.   Post time for the Pepsi North America Cup card on Saturday, August 29 is 6:30 p.m.  by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, ON - July 28, 2020 - The 'Road to the Pepsi North America Cup' has changed drastically following the unfortunate injury to top harness racing contender Papi Rob Hanover. Ranked number two each week, Papi Rob Hanover has suffered a hairline fracture to a coffin bone in his front left leg and will be sidelined for the remainder of 2020. The Brett Pelling trainee went out a winner, recording a stunning 1:47.1 World Record win in an elimination of the Adios last Saturday at The Meadows. The season and potentially career-ending injury to 'Papi Rob' brings a close on the incredible rivalry between he and Tall Dark Stranger. The Pelling and Nancy Takter trainees slugged it out at age two and that carried over to this season, including the memorable stretch battle in the Meadowlands Pace. The removal of Papi Rob Hanover from the 'Road to the Pepsi North America Cup' shakes things up. Tall Dark Stranger remains at the top, while the three horses directly behind 'Papi Rob' all move up a spot. Tall Dark Stranger is entered to race this Saturday in the Geers Stakes at The Meadowlands, while three others on the Top-10 will compete in Saturday's Adios Final at The Meadows. Here is this week's 'Road to the Pepsi North America Cup' rankings. Mark McKelvie's Road to the Pepsi North America Cup - Week 3 Rankings 1. Tall Dark Stranger (Last Week: 1) Owner(s): Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms & Howard Taylor Trainer: Nancy Takter Driver: Yannick Gingras With his rival now out of the picture, Tall Dark Stranger could be poised to have one of the most successful three-year-old campaigns in recent memory. The Takter trainee will start from Post 10 in Saturday's Geers Stakes at The Meadowlands. 2. Tattoo Artist (Last Week: 3) Owner(s): Frank Cannon & Let It Ride Stables Trainer: Dr. Ian Moore Driver: Louis Philippe Roy Made it four wins in a row on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park, but did get a late scare. Making his first start in three-weeks, It wasn't as dominant a performance as we've seen, but ultimately you get paid the same no matter how many lengths you win by. 3. Allywag Hanover (Last Week: 4) Owner(s): Allywag Stable Trainer: Brett Pelling Driver: Tim Tetrick All of the sudden more eyes are on Allywag Hanover with his star stablemate done for the year. He's been spectacular this season and will have another crack at Tall Dark Stranger in Saturday's Geers. 4. Beaumond Hanover (Last Week: 5) Owner(s): Jack Darling Stables Trainer: Jack Darling Driver: Jody Jamieson Continued his winning ways with an OSS Gold win on Saturday at Mohawk Park. That's now three in a row for the Darling student and four wins in six starts on the season. All four wins have come in sub-1:50 fashion. 5. The Greek Freak (Last Week: 9) Owner(s): Burke Racing, Piatt Racing, JandT Silva Purnel & Libb Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Matt Kakaley The Ron Burke trainee extended his current win streak to four with a victory in an Adios elimination last Saturday. He's quietly becoming a major player and continues his rise on our rankings. The removal of 'Papi Rob' gives him a major chance to win Saturday's Adios final. 6. Catch The Fire (Last Week: Honourable Mention) Owner(s): Ct Stables Trainer: John Ackley Driver: Mike Wilder Posted a career-best victory of 1:49.3 in an Adios elimination last Saturday. Just like the horse above him, he's got a great shot now in Saturday's rich final. We mentioned a few weeks back that Catch The Fire would likely be the horse to dance all the big dances and hold his own. Now the conversation isn't about holding his own, but rather winning the whole thing. 7. Capt Midnight (Last Week: Honourable Mention) Owner(s): Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant & Capt Midnight Racing Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Andrew McCarthy A solid bounce back performance in his Adios elimination has the Tony Alagna trainee back in the Top-10 this week. We said last week not to count him out and he showed up. Looking for him to build off last week's race. 8. Groovy Joe (Last Week: 10) Owner(s): Hutt Racing Stable, Blake MacIntosh, Ozzie MacKay & Hoofbid Racing Trainer: Blake MacIntosh Driver: Matt Kakaley Some weeks not racing can hurt your ranking and some weeks it can help. This week not having a race moved Groovy Joe up a couple spots based on what other eligible horses did. He's set to return to action on Tuesday evening in a New York Sires Stakes contest at Yonkers. (Editor Note: This week's rankings were published prior to Tuesday's race. Groovy Joe was finished second placed third.) 9. Beach Blanket Book (Last Week: Honourable Mention) Owner(s): Hutt Racing Stable & Mac and Heim Stables Trainer: Blake MacIntosh Driver: Doug McNair He just kept on coming Saturday night at Mohawk Park, coming up just a neck short of upsetting Tattoo Artist in an OSS Gold division. The MacIntosh trainee has yet to have a bad race this season and has earned a spot in the rankings. He's got three wins and two seconds in six starts this season. Like we said before, he's a battler and looking forward to seeing what's next. 10. Indictable Hanover (Last Week: 6) Owner(s): West Wins Stable, John Fielding & Mac Nichol Trainer: Casie Coleman-Herlihy Driver: Bob McClure Didn't turn in the performance many expected on Saturday, finishing third in an OSS Gold event. He didn't look like the horse that posted a career-best victory just a week prior. Despite that, he's four for six on the season and has never missed the top-three. We'll see how he bounces back. HONOURABLE MENTION: Captain Barbossa (Last Week: 8) Owner(s): Alagnafrankinthegym Stabl, Robert LeBlanc & David Anderson Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Andrew McCarthy/Brian Sears The scratch of Papi Rob Hanover gives Captain Barbossa a second crack at the Adios after finishing fourth in last Saturday's elimination. That finish wasn't good enough to originally earn a spot, but he draws in as the Also Eligible. Captain Kirk (Last Week: 7) Owner(s): Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant & Captain Kirk Racing Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Dexter Dunn/Joe Bongiorno Had a week off following a seventh-place finish in the Meadowlands Pace. The Alagna trainee returns to action Saturday in the Geers at The Meadowlands and only got a slight improvement in post position as he goes from the eight-hole compared to the ten-hole he had in the Pace. Elver Hanover Owner(s): Burke Racing Stable, Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo, JandT Silva Purnel & Libb Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Chris Page No longer undefeated, Elver Hanover suffered his second loss in Saturday's Adios elimination, but did bring a good effort. The Burke trainee finished third and qualified for Saturday's final. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, ON - July 22, 2020 - The first of this season's major harness racing stakes for three-year-old pacers is in the books and its result made little change to Mark McKelvie's 'Road to the Pepsi North America Cup' rankings. Tall Dark Stranger and Papi Rob Hanover delivered a memorable stretch battle in last Saturday's Meadowlands Pace, with Tall Dark Stranger battling back at the inside for the victory. The outstanding performances by the sport's two most-talked about sophomore pacers keeps them at the top of McKelvie's 'Road to the Pepsi North America Cup' rankings. The local scene heats up again this weekend with two $104,800 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions taking place this Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Tattoo Artist, the top-ranked local horse on the list, had last week off, leaving the spotlight for locals Beaumond Hanover and Indictable Hanover to shine and improve their positions this week. All three will compete on Saturday at Mohawk Park. Casie Coleman-Herlihy's Indictable Hanover and Ron Burke's The Greek Freak are the two now additions to this week's top-10. The full list, including honourable mentions can be found below. Mark McKelvie's Road to the Pepsi North America Cup - Week 2 Rankings 1. Tall Dark Stranger (Last Week: 1) Owner(s): Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms & Howard Taylor Trainer: Nancy Takter Driver: Yannick Gingras Retains the top spot after giving up the lead at the head the stretch and showing his incredible determination to battle back and win the Meadowlands Pace Final. An instant classic of a race and a performance that'll be talked about for a long time. 2. Papi Rob Hanover (Last Week: 2) Owner(s): David McDuffee Trainer: Brett Pelling Driver: David Miller Went a massive mile in the Meadowlands Pace to finish second. It's a runner-up finish that stings after grabbing the lead, but being unable to close it out and letting his rival battle back. He's had zero post-luck to this point. He's not going away and will be battling for the top all season. Heads now to the Adios eliminations as a clear favourite. 3. Tattoo Artist (Last Week: 3) Owner(s): Frank Cannon & Let It Ride Stables Trainer: Dr. Ian Moore Driver: Bob McClure/Louis Philippe Roy Enjoyed another week off. He will be returning to the track this Saturday in search of a fourth consecutive victory. Faces his toughest challenge to date in a stacked Ontario Sires Gold event. 4. Allywag Hanover (Last Week: 4) Owner(s): Allywag Stable Trainer: Brett Pelling Driver: Tim Tetrick Never saw the pylons in the Meadowlands Pace and finished a strong third. Won't get talked about much coming out of that race, but finishing third (by a length) to a pair of superstars further proved he's legitimacy as a major player. 5. Beaumond Hanover (Last Week: 6) Owner(s): Jack Darling Stables Trainer: Jack Darling Driver: Jody Jamieson Posted another impressive sub-1:50 victory on Saturday night. The OSS Gold winner is three for five on the season, with all three wins in sub-1:50 fashion. Didn't appear to break sweat in his most recent. Ready for a big OSS showdown on Saturday. 6. Indictable Hanover (Last Week: Honourable Mention) Owner(s): West Wins Stable, John Fielding & Mac Nichol Trainer: Casie Coleman-Herlihy Driver: Jonathan Drury/Bob McClure Was on the cusp of making the first Top-10 rankings, but left little doubt that he belongs after arguably his best performance to date on Saturday night. Stormed by rivals with a powerful :25.3 final-quarter to win in a career-best 1:49.4. He's now 4 for 5 on the season and the fact that he's the most inexperienced horse on the list speaks volumes about where he could end up considering he appears to be getting better with every start. 7. Captain Kirk (Last Week: 8) Owner(s): Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant & Captain Kirk Racing Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Dexter Dunn/Joe Bongiorno Had the impossible mission of Post 10 in the Meadowlands Pace, but made sure everyone knew he was there. Made the front from the ten-hole, posting a wicked :25.4 opener. Tired and finished seventh. He's shown big speed through just three starts this season. Expect him to be in the mix for any big dance this season. 8. Captain Barbossa (Last Week: 9) Owner(s): Alagnafrankinthegym Stabl, Robert LeBlanc & David Anderson Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Andrew McCarthy/Brian Sears Posted a fifth-place finish in the Meadowlands Pace. Got away well in the two-hole behind his stablemate, but was getting a shuffle back approaching three-quarters before escaping to the outside. Raced well to grab a fifth. Hard to say he's ever had a bad race. Just like his stablemate, he's going to be in the hunt. 9. The Greek Freak (Last Week: Not Rated) Owner(s): Burke Racing, Piatt Racing, JandT Silva Purnel & Libb Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Matt Kakaley Debuts on this list after posting a third consecutive victory on Saturday, capturing a PASS division at The Meadows. Had some big hype around him early last year after sparkling performances in Baby Races, but just couldn't get over the hump when it was time to do it for real. Started his career 0 for 10. Found the winner's circle in his second start of this season and hasn't lost since, including two PASS scores. 10. Groovy Joe (Last Week: 10) Owner(s): Hutt Racing Stable, Blake MacIntosh, Ozzie MacKay & Hoofbid Racing Trainer: Blake MacIntosh Driver: Matt Kakaley/James MacDonald No change in his position on the rankings after having a week off. His last start was a 1:48.4 victory in a New York Sires Stakes event. Look forward to seeing if he carries the momentum to his next start and can be the player he was anticipated to be. Honourable Mention (alphabetical order): Beach Blanket Book (Last Week: Honourable Mention) Owner(s): Hutt Racing Stable & Mac and Heim Stables Trainer: Blake MacIntosh Driver: Doug McNair Finished second to Beaumond Hanover on Saturday. He's had a real nice start to the season, posting three wins in five starts. Only losses were races won by Tattoo Artist and 'Beaumond'. Doesn't let rivals get by him in the lane, he's a battler. Capt Midnight (Last Week: 5) Owner(s): Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant & Capt Midnight Racing Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Andrew McCarthy The Meadowlands Pace was not a great experience for Capt Midnight. Ninth in the elimination and then eighth-placed ninth in the final. He had never been outside the Top-5 in 11 starts prior. No chance you can count him out, but for now he's on the outside looking in. Catch The Fire (Last Week: Honourable Mention) Owner(s): Ct Stables Trainer: John Ackley Driver: Mike Wilder Hooked wheels briefly with Capt Midnight coming out of the last turn and finished sixth in the Meadowlands Pace. Here's the kind of horse that might not get much buzz, but if he shows up you expect he'll be in the mix. Hopefully we will see him continue to chase the big dances. Elver Hanover (Last Week: 7) Owner(s): Burke Racing Stable, Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo, JandT Silva Purnel & Libb Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Chris Page Had his undefeated streak snapped on Saturday, finishing a well-beaten second in an Ohio Sires Stakes to a horse that won in 1:48.4. He was a World Champion at two, but he's never been in one of the big dances. Weren't entirely sure where he stacked up before, but after a loss in his second start of the season, now the intrigue will be high for how he responds. Sea Of Life (Last Week: Not Rated) Owner(s): Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant, Captain Kirk Racing Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Scott Zeron/Andrew McCarthy Posted the fastest mile of the three PASS divisions on Saturday at The Meadows, winning in 1:50. He's now posted a win and two seconds in three starts this season. Went 1 for 12 as a rookie, but capped off his year with a runner-up finish in the Kindergarten Final. Wasn't on the radar like his notable stablemates, but quickly becoming one to keep an eye on. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, ON - July 16, 2020 - The 37th edition of the Pepsi North America Cup is now six-weeks away as the harness racing stakes season is heating up for three-year-old pacers. The saying "good things come to those who wait" will ring very true for the connections of this year's Pepsi North America Cup winner. The $1 million race for three-year-old pacers was originally scheduled for June 20, but will now take place on Saturday, August 29 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Pepsi North America Cup is traditionally the first major race for sophomore pacers, with most of the eligible horses making just a few starts prior to the eliminations. The late-August date certainly changes the 'Road to the Pepsi North America Cup', which will head through the Meadowlands this Saturday for the 2020 Meadowlands Pace. The continuation of Sires Stakes and more Grand Circuit events will fill the schedule in the coming weeks, building more excitement for the potential showdowns in Campbellville on August 29. A total of 65 three-year-old pacers remain eligible for the Cup. Below is the initial 'Road to the Pepsi North America Cup' top-ten rankings, which will be updated weekly leading up to the eliminations, scheduled for Saturday, August 22. To view the full list of eligible horses to the Pepsi North America Cup and all Woodbine stakes, click here. ROAD TO THE PEPSI NORTH AMERICA CUP - TOP 10 (JULY 16, 2020) 1. Tall Dark Stranger (Bettor's Delight - Precocious Beauty - Art Major) Owner(s): Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms & Howard Taylor Trainer: Nancy Takter Driver: Yannick Gingras Last year's Metro Pace, Breeders Crown, O'Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winner has look superb through two starts this season and enters the Meadowlands Pace as the morning-line favourite. Took a mark of 1:47.4 in his season debut, the fastest mile this season by a three-year-old. He's the big dog and he looks poised to rule the yard all season. 2. Papi Rob Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere - Panera Hanover - Rocknroll Hanover) Owner(s): David McDuffee Trainer: Brett Pelling Driver: David Miller The start of his three-year-old season hasn't gone completely as planned, thanks to terrible post position luck. Landed post-ten in his first two starts, charging home strong each time to finish second and third, respectively. But this weekend is the first major dance, the one that really counts and he would shock nobody with a winning effort from post-nine. 3. Tattoo Artist (Hes Watching - Stylish Artist - Artsplace) Owner(s): Frank Cannon & Let It Ride Stables Trainer: Dr. Ian Moore Driver: Louis Philippe Roy Last year's Ontario Sires Stakes champion is currently riding a three-race win streak, with each victory a bigger statement than the last. He's gone down the road in all three, including a dazzling 1:48.2 victory in his most recent, which just missed the all-time OSS record by a fifth of a second. Ontario's best will be ready to protect home turf. 4. Allywag Hanover (Captaintreacherous - Anderosa Hanover - The Panderosa) Owner(s): Allywag Stable Trainer: Brett Pelling Driver: David Miller/Tim Tetrick Showed a couple glimpses of major talent as a rookie, but never reached the top. That has changed this season. Now racing for Brett Pelling, he's looked incredible posting three wins in three starts. Appears poised to give my top-two ranked horses a run in the Meadowlands Pace. 5. Capt Midnight (Captaintreacherous - It Was Fascination - American Ideal) Owner(s): Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant & Capt Midnight Racing Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Andrew McCarthy A rare bad night almost cost him a chance at the Meadowlands Pace, but he'll draw in as the also eligible with a stablemate bowing out for a different route. Following a steady and strong rookie campaign, he came back with a wicked performance in his season debut. Can't be overlooked. 6. Beaumond Hanover (Sportswriter - Bittorsweet Terror - Western Terror) Owner(s): Jack Darling Stables Trainer: Jack Darling Driver: Jody Jamieson Posted a 1:49.4 score in his season debut and most recently took an OSS Gold division dominantly in 1:49.1. Squeezed in between were a couple narrow defeats. He's never raced bad and is showing that he's Grand Circuit material. Burst onto the scene late last-season in dominating fashion and is showing that those blowout wins had nothing to do with the company he was facing. He's the real deal. 7. Elver Hanover (Yankee Cruiser - Edra Hanover - The Panderosa) Owner(s): Burke Racing Stable, Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo, JandT Silva Purnel & Libb Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Chris Page Perfect 10 for 10 and the fastest two-year-old pacer in history. Not a bad introduction for this Ohio superstar. Has only ventured away from Ohio for two starts, scoring back-to-back Grand Circuit victories last fall at The Red Mile. Won his season debut in an Ohio Sires Stakes and intrigue is high to see if he can keep the streak going and where he'll stack up against Grand Circuit rivals. 8. Captain Kirk (Captaintreacherous - Aria Hanover - Well Said) Owner(s): Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant & Captain Kirk Racing Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Dexter Dunn/Joe Bongiorno Posted a strong runner-up finish in the Meadowlands Pace elimination, charging home in :25.2. Went 1 for 9 as a rookie, but was right there in most starts and just got a little lost in the shadow of his stablemates and the top-ranked horse on this list. Strong qualifiers and two good starts this season have him looking like a player. 9. Captain Barbossa (Captaintreacherous - Swinging Beauty - Art Major) Owner(s): Alagnafrankinthegym Stabl, Robert LeBlanc & David Anderson Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Andrew McCarthy/Brian Sears Likely didn't get the credit he deserved for a solid two-year-old campaign. Grand Circuit winner, three-wins and 10 top-three finishes in 14 starts last year. Has comeback at three and caught the attention of many, which is notable considering he has yet to win in three starts. Came up half a length short to Allywag Hanover two-back in a 1:48 mile and then closed well in his Meadowlands Pace elimination to finish fourth. Both races he paced home in :25.3. 10. Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe - Chotat Milk - Jate Lobell) Owner(s): Hutt Racing Stable, Blake MacIntosh, Ozzie MacKay & Hoofbid Racing Trainer: Blake MacIntosh Driver: Matt Kakaley/James MacDonald Was a model of consistency at two, winning seven of 10 and finishing second in the other three starts. Raced primarily in the New York Sires Stakes, finishing second in the State Championship. The start of his season didn't go exactly as connections would hope, but the ability was clearly there and he tapped into it in his most recent outing, scoring an outstanding 1:48.4 victory in a New York Sires Stakes event. Honourable Mention (alphabetical order): Beach Blanket Book Owner(s): Hutt Racing Stable & Mac and Heim Stables Trainer: Blake MacIntosh Driver: Doug McNair Catch The Fire Owner(s): Ct Stables Trainer: John Ackley Driver: Mike Wilder Chief Mate Owner(s): Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant & Captain Kirk Racing Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: George Napolitano/Scott Zeron Indictable Hanover Owner(s): West Wins Stable, John Fielding & Mac Nichol Trainer: Casie Coleman-Herlihy Driver: Bob McClure Roll With Jr Owner(s): Pollack Racing & Jeff Cullipher Trainer: Jeff Cullipher Driver: Corey Callahan/Tim Tetrick/John De Long/Sam Widger/Doug McNair by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, June 20, 2020 - Pepsi North America Cup eligible Tattoo Artist delivered another harness racing statement victory on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park, stopping the clock in a career-best 1:49.3 The Dr. Ian Moore trainee followed up his six-length, 1:50 score from a week ago with another successful front-end mission for driver Bob McClure in Saturday's eighth-race, a Non-Winners of 7 or $125,000 event. Tattoo Artist blasted out from post-five to post a :26.3 opening-quarter, while Legion Seelster was caught on his outside. Tattoo Artist and McClure weren't releasing Legion Seelster and kept the foot on the gas to post a wild :53.1 half. After putting away his rival, Tattoo Artist stormed by three-quarters in 1:21.2 and stretched out his lead in the lane to win by 3 lengths in 1:49.3. A son of Hes Watching, Tattoo Artist was last year's Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final champion. The Moore trainee is now two for three this season and seven for 11 overall. His latest victory brings him to $266,325 in career earnings for owners Frank Cannon and Let It Ride Stables Inc. Another notable Cup eligible to race was Beaumond Hanover. The Jack Darling trainee finished third in a Non-Winners of 3 or $50,000 event, finishing just within a length of a 1:50.4 winner. A son of Sportswriter, Beaumond Hanover turned heads with a 1:49.4 victory in his season debut on June 8. His third-place finish was just his second loss in seven career starts. The first Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg of the season will take place on July 4 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Saturday night was originally scheduled to be the Pepsi North America Cup card. This year's event has been pushed back to Saturday, August 29. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7 p.m. Mark McKelvie

1 to 16 of 504
1 2 3 4 5 Next »