Up the Credit took the $1.5M North America Cup last evening in 149.3. The race pretty much unfolded much differently than was expected - the early speed was simply not there. Here is my horse by horse take, by finishing position:
Up the Credit - From the get go you knew he'd likely be first over, and when they are going that slow, it's not a bad place to be. He ground down a very poor leader and grabbed the prize.
Roll With Joe - The early speed in this tilt in no way materialized, and Randy Waples was the beneficiary. He got a very easy lead and got to sit close behind a chalk. What more can you ask for? This colt shows the importance of having a trainer who knows what he is doing. He peaked perfectly.
Big Jim - He raced well, with a no-shot trip. When you try and come from behind and don't get any fractions you are in a bind, and a bind he was in. It's nice to see the colt have a little more fire for a change though, so I think we will see them try and trip him out this season.
Foreclosure - 10 post, not much gate speed. That usually means you are coming 9th or 10th in this race, but this fella showed he has some serious zip, just getting nosed out for third. He closed from the 401 expressway, and if there were some fractions up top and he weaved through like he did, he might have been a bombs away winner. He came home in 52 seconds.
Big Bad John - Last year in the Cup the top colt, Rock n' Roll Heaven, threw in a clunker, and later scoped sick. This season's clunker belongs to Big Bad John. If you give a colt with this kind of talent a 55.2 half going for a million-five, he will win 95 out of 100 races, and hit the board 100 out of 100 times. He had nothing.
Shadyshark Hanover - Filled out the clunker exacta. With slow fractions like we saw last night, the winner will most likely be the leader, the first up horse, or the second up horse. This second up horse was empty.
Cup Night Notes:
How fast can a horse come home nowadays? Foreclosure showed some kick in the Cup, but how about Alled Hanover in the first? He was 4-5, in no mans land, and kicked in 25 to win like he was 1-20.
My biggest bet of the evening was Dalhousie Dave. I can pick horse's who throw in clunkers.
For a fleeting second in the middle of the lane it looked like Crys Dream would have to work to win the Elegantimage, but nope. I watched her warm up and she is not the biggest or baddest filly, but she looks perfectly sound and can really turn on the speed. I used the six horse to fill out my ex's as she warmed up super. I don't think those connections are too thrilled with the steer.
It's amazing how quickly horses can go "off". The world was abuzz after Better Than Cheddar won by ten in 49 a few weeks ago. Last night as the 2-1 chalk in the NA Cup Consolation, he was coming from behind trying to get a 5th place check.
Blue Porsche is a nice horse, but I suspect that some of today's cowboy drivers would have gotten him beat (which I would've not minded since I bet 60-1 Luc Ouellette in that race). Trevor was incredibly patient, and he got the job done.
Won the West had a teeny class drop and was for the first time this season, put into the race. He won in 147.2.
See You at Peelers won the most boring $600k race you'd ever watch. With the 56 half it was like a nw1. She ran-in horribly in the lane, which might signify long term issues, but it was what it was. Krispy Apples would be a superstar any other year, and she came second. Idyllic, who is $106k away from $200k this season, sat a pocket and held on for third.
Norm and Pete were happy when Bunny Lake's son won the Conso. I was too. Why do we want to see supermares have nice babies? Maybe because they so often aren't supermoms.
"All Tiger is warming up like a freight train" said moi. Why didn't I take home the track after the 50-1 shot won? I think because I sucked last night at constructing tickets.
A blog friend played 2-7 in the Cup final, in tris. He left Big Jim off his ticket in the third spot, and was lamenting this decision (especially because he had a nice 2-7-10 straight). A peanut gallery watcher says "smart move leaving off a horse for third who has never missed the board". :)
I watched Greg Blanchard do a little of the TV last night on the Score, from the sidelines. They do a great job.
The staff and employees at Mohawk were what they usually are - friendly. They did a nice job with that big crowd and there were a great many smiles.
On big nights at Pull the Pocket Downs I think I will be circulating a memo for all drivers to be available on the walk back to the paddock to sign some programs. Jody was asked, as was Sears that I saw. And there were several people wanting autographs. David Miller even got a fist-handshake from some dude who bet him with Won the West.
Grand River's Kelly Spencer caught two tris in a row last night. She was glowing with those victories, but it possibly had something to do with the Caeser's. It's always nice to see Kelly. She's a happy pumpkin.
The crowd and handle was not quite as big as usual last night, but once again it solidified it for me - since moving to Mohawk, this evening is one of the must makes in harness racing. If you are a casual fan, the Hambo, The Jug, the Cup and the Cup and Saucer should be on the radar each year.
Have a good Sunday everyone.