06/10/2015 4:57PM

Mohawk: Betting Exchange tries his luck in North America Cup

Ken Weingartner
Betting Exchange will take on Artspeak in one of three eliminations for the $1 million North America Cup.

Betting Exchange heads to Saturday’s eliminations for the North America Cup looking for his first win of the season, but trainer Tom Fanning is looking for a strong effort after watching the colt register two near misses in his previous starts at Yonkers Raceway.

Three eight-horse C$50,000 eliminations for the North America Cup for 3-year-old pacers will be contested Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. The top-three finishers from each group plus a fourth-place finisher drawn randomly advance to the C$1 million championship on June 20. The connections of elim winners earn the opportunity to select their post position for the final.

Betting Exchange and driver David Miller will start from post No. 2 in the third elimination. The race also includes 2014 Dan Patch and O’Brien award-winner Artspeak, 2014 Breeders Crown champ Traceur Hanover, undefeated newcomer Split The House, and Wakizashi Hanover, who has finished worse than second only once in 10 lifetime starts.

“He’ll give a good account of himself,” Fanning said about Betting Exchange. “He’s a good horse. Dave Miller has a lot of confidence in him. He knows those horses and what they can do and if they can compete at that level. He certainly said bring him on up, so I think he’ll be OK.”

Fanning owns Betting Exchange with Howard Taylor and Susan Kajfasz. The colt was purchased as a yearling for $24,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and is a half-brother to 2009 Battle of Waterloo winner Wellthereyougo.

For his career, Betting Exchange has won three of 11 races and earned $168,188. His victories include two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes and a division of the Historic-Goshen Cup Stakes.

Betting Exchange heads to the North America Cup eliminations off a second-place finish to In The Arsenal in the Art Rooney Pace on May 30. Betting Exchange, who raced on the outside until the middle of the second turn before getting a brief lead that he relinquished to In The Arsenal at the midway point of the race, was beaten by a head.

A week earlier in his Rooney elimination, Betting Exchange was beaten by a neck by Sonofa Sizzle.

In his two prior starts to the Rooney, he suffered broken equipment in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs and finished eighth against older rivals in a conditioned race at the Meadowlands. In that start, he started from post nine and came home in 26 seconds to lose by 5-1/4 lengths.

“With the exception of the Tioga race, he’s been good,” Fanning said. “He was real good in the Rooney; he overcame kind of a tough trip and kept on coming. I like that.

“I think the bigger track (at Mohawk) will help him. He can get around any size track but the bigger track will pick him up a little bit.”

Artspeak, trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Scott Zeron, enters the North America Cup elims off a victory in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship on May 30. He has won 10 of 12 lifetime starts, including the Metro Pace at Mohawk last season. Alagna won the 2013 North America Cup with Captaintreacherous.

Rooney winner In The Arsenal, from the stable of trainer Kelvin Harrison, races in the second North America Cup elimination while George Teague Jr.’s undefeated Wiggle It Jiggleit headlines the first group. Teague won the 2006 North America Cup with Total Truth.

Saturday’s Pepsi North America Cup eliminations card will also feature eliminations for the Fan Hanover Stakes and the Roses Are Red Stakes.

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com