01/12/2016 9:43AM

Harness: NA Cup headlines $14 million WEG stakes schedule

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Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today revealed its $14 million-plus 2016 Standardbred stakes schedule.

The 33rd edition of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old pacers will highlight the stakes calendar. Canada’s richest harness race will be held on Saturday, June 18 at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ontario.

The eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup will take place a week prior on Saturday, June 11.

The Pepsi North America Cup card on June 18 features a stacked undercard.

The $480,000 Fan Hanover (3-year-old pacing fillies), $350,000 Roses Are Red (pacing mares), $275,000 Armbro Flight (trotting mares), $235,000 Goodtimes (3-year-old trotters) and $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational will all take place on ‘Cup’ night.

Total purses for the Pepsi North America Cup card are expected to exceed $2.5 million.

Over $2.2 million will be up for grabs on Labor Day weekend, as the Canadian Pacing Derby and Metro Pace take their usual end of summer spot on Saturday, September 3.

The $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby is Canada’s oldest stakes race and will feature the very best pacers in harness racing, while the $685,000 Metro Pace is the premier event for 2-year-old pacers.

The $455,000 Shes A Great Lady Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies and $220,000-plus Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old trotters and filly pacers will make up the ‘Pacing Derby’ and Metro undercard.

Following the Labor Day weekend bash, the Canadian Trotting Classic and Maple Leaf Trot will take place on Saturday, September 17.

The $700,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-olds is Canada’s richest trotting event, while the $680,000 Maple Leaf Trot has annually attracted the best trotters from around the world.

The All-Star trotting card will also feature the $410,000 Peaceful Way for 2-year-old filly trotters, $400,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $370,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old trotters.

Once again in 2016, WEG will continue to distribute purse money to all finishers in major stakes events.

The winner of the finals will receive the traditional 50% of the total purse, while those finishing sixth through last will take home 1% of the purse. The horses finishing second through fifth will receive 50%-24%-16%-10% of the remaining purse.

Returning to the stakes calendar in 2016 is the Fall Four Stakes for 2-year-olds on Saturday, November 19 at Woodbine Racetrack.

Last held at Woodbine in 2014, the Fall Four consists of the $565,000 Governor’s Cup (pacers), $525,000 Valley Victory (trotters), $465,000 Goldsmith Maid (filly trotters) and $425,000 Three Diamonds (filly pacers).

The entire 2016 stakes schedule can be viewed by clicking here.

Once again in 2016, WEG will continue to handle administrative duties for all Standardbred Alliance stakes events.

Payments to all WEG and Alliance stakes are payable and should be mailed to the Woodbine Entertainment Group. Stakes payments can also be made online.

(edited release-WEG)