Greg is back with an instalment of his top ten for the NA Cup. Not a bad list for an amateur bettor, and a guy from Pittsburgh. I am ok with the young fellas opinions. I would still have Barber Pole number one. Art Colony would not be in my top ten. I will wait to make my list until the Cup is over. Then I will look like a genius!
Here we go..........
Another week has come and gone on the road to the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup. More and more of last year’s top stars are returning to the track, and some horses who flew under the radar have made their presence felt. Without further introduction, let’s get to this week’s top ten.
1. Well Said (last week #1). No change at the top this week. Well Said was victorious in his first qualifier at the Meadowlands on May 7 in 1:54 flat and then came back to qualify on May 14 in 1:52.4 with a final quarter in 26.3. There is still no word from trainer Steve Elliott on when the son of Western Hanover will make his 2009 pari-mutuel debut.
2. Barber Pole (last week unranked). I had this son of Badlands Hanover ranked just below the top ten last week, but then he jumped up with a 1:49 flat mile on May 9 at the Meadowlands in a conditioned pace. The George Teague trainee is now headed to Pocono Downs for the Max Hempt Memorial, which has eliminations this coming Saturday and the final next Saturday.
3. Major In Art (last week #2). Dropped simply because he has not qualified as of yet. There hasn’t been any update from new trainer Noel Daley on when last year’s two-year old pacing colt of the year in the United States may make his season’s debut.
4. Dial Or Nodial (last week #5). Gets a slight bump up this week due to his 1:52.3 victory in the same qualifier as Well Said on May 14. The son of Western Ideal cut the mile in that race and used a 26.4 final kicker to defeat Well said by three-quarters of a length. Plenty of options for trainer Jim Campbell to use with Dial Or Nodial, including the New Jersey Sire Stakes or the New Jersey Classic before the North America Cup.
5. Art Colony (last week #3). Like Major In Art, simply dropped down due to the fact he has not appeared on the track yet. Casie Coleman still has plenty of time to get him ready, though.
6. Nebupanezzar (last week #4). Another one of last year’s stars who have not made an appearance yet. Trainer Bob McIntosh indicated over the winter that there would be no rush in getting the millionaire back to the track, so it’s not surprising we have not seen him yet. (Note - sidelined until mid summer, announced today)
7. Annieswesterncard (last week #9). This son of Western Hanover picked up an nice off the pace score in the $230,000 Berry ’s Creek final at the Meadowlands in 1:51.1. Trainer Joe Seekman had Art Official in the Cup last year and could make a return with this impressive gelding.
8. Chasin Racin (last week #10). This son of The Panderosa simply toured the Meadowlands last week to prep for the Max Hempt eliminations this Saturday. He gives Team Teague yet another shell to fire should they choose to send him up north.
9. Arctic Warrior (last week unranked). This fast son of Blissfull Hall used a 26.3 final panel to rally for a good third place finish behind Annieswesterncard in the Berry ’s Creek. He was a very good Pennsylvania Sire Stakes horse last year, and seemed to handle the transition to open competition just fine in the Berry ’s Creek.
10. Fast Pay (last week unranked). This colt might be the best three-year old based in Ontario until Nebupanezzar returns. This son of Western Terror, who was last year’s OSS Grassroots champion, came from off cover to win in non-winners of two at Mohawk in 1:51.3 with a final quarter in 27.1. He is entered on Saturday in the eliminations for the first Upper Canada Cup at Georgian Downs.
Dropping out this week were #6 Sheer Desire, who was rank and uncontrollable in his Berry’s Creek elimination, #7 Vertigo Hanover, who was on the lead in the Berry’s Creek final, but could not deliver in the stretch, and #8 Straight Shooting, who got away with soft fractions in a three-year old event at Mohawk on Saturday, but got passed by two horses in the lane.