The 26th North America Cup is in the books. For most of the off-season, and in Greg's Top Ten here on the blog (kudos to Greg for having 8 out of the top ten starters in his series here) Well Said was at or near the top of the contender lists. After a couple of very flat efforts, he looked to be more than vulnerable. But it all came full circle. He won last night by 3, very easily. A few commentators spoke of the trip, but that was pretty inconsequential. He would have jogged from anywhere.
The race itself was pretty interesting. Steve Condren made the winning move with Keep it Real, and the colt raced well. First time driver Corey Callahan had Mr. Wiggles in a good position, as did Knuckles Brennan with the Brainard horse. I found Sears' drive curious. He tried to bull-rush Keep it Real, off a slow 54.3 half. Condren would have to be nuts to let him go. That move pretty much set up the flow horses to have a shot. I would surmise that he thought if he could clear, he could limb out Pierce and have a god shot to win. Who knows. Anyway we slice it, it did not work out.
Art Colony came second and raced ok, but at 6-1 I want to book bets on whomever bet him at those odds. Wow, there is still money to be made betting harness folks!
In the Fan Hanover, Yellow Diamond got beat, which was not unexpected to handicappers. Andrew Beyer said super trainers have "tarnished the great art of handicapping." I agree with that assessment. I have no idea how to treat the supertrainers when it comes to stakes horses. I have no idea what performance is real, and what is supertraining. Yellow Diamond showed she could have been the next Rainbow Blue, but now looks ordinary. Please remind me never to get stoked on these performances with these trainers.
Federal Flex Flat
A big thumbs up to Jamieson for his assessment of Flex. Time after time (Ron Pierce is the king of this) excuses are made for bad performances. Flex was flat and Jody explained that he was not himself during the week, and in warm ups. He still won by holding off the backfield.
Anyone Make Any Money?
I was up and down like a yoyo. After hitting Arctic Warrior I was up a good hunk of money. As is often for us as horseplayers, it was time to give it back. I took a solid poke at Annieswesterncard and Mr. Wiggles, in the mutuel pool, and in exotics. I was stunned Tetrick got AWC off 9th by 18. I mean sheesh, how can you pick up a check being 9th by 18 at the quarter? Regardless, he was not hitting the board, so the bankroll was going down either way.
I took another big swing in the 8th on Casie's horse from the ten, as he was 70-1. I got back going there because he came second and paid $35. Cinderella Man (another Brainard horse) opened with tons of cash (the fact this is a betting barn is the least kept secret at Mohawk), and he converted, paying $5.60. That was annoying.
The rest of the way in a word, stunk for me. I ended the night down.
$3.2M was bet on the card, which I think might have beaten last year. Mohawk is a perfect venue for this card. Let's hope next year we have some good promo bets to take advantage of, like WEG has done for the Queens Plate.