06/11/2016 9:18PM

Mohawk: Betting Line, Boston Red Rocks capture North America Cup eliminations

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Betting Line won the faster of the two North America Cup eliminations in 1:49 1/5

Off an outstanding uncovered victory in the first of two C$50,000 eliminations for the North America Cup on Saturday night at Mohawk Raceway, Betting Line likely became the choice for the June 18 C$1 million final.

Driver Dave Miller left a bit at the start with Betting Line, tucking in front of post time favorite Control The Moment entering the first turn. Lyons Snyder briefly exchanged the lead with 35-1 outsider Racing Hill at the 27 2/5 opening quarter, and from there Lyons Snyder was allowed to relax by driver Sylvain Filion, setting the 55 2/5 half-mile speed.

Driver Randy Waples pulled Control The Moment to the outside approaching the midway point and got the cover he wanted from Betting Line. Lyons Snyder accelerated, and for most of the third quarter, had a solid lead on the outside flank.  After a 27 flat third quarter, Betting Line and Miller got into motion, and lost Control The Moment, but had Lyons Snyder within their sights.

Betting Line sprinted hard, rolling past the pace-setter to a very confident 1:49 1/5 career-best clocking. Lyons Snyder finished second but may have lost that spot had pocket-sitter Racing Hill not made a break in midstretch. An inquiry suggested there was no harm, but the colt appeared to lose little, if no ground while on the gallop. Control The Moment held for fourth with Beast Mode completing the qualifiers from this division.

“He was impressive going first-over,” said Dave Miller following the race.

“After the Somebeachsomewhere I decided to go back to the steel shoes,” said Casie Coleman, the winning trainer. Sportswriter (Coleman’s previous North America Cup champ) wore steels, and Betting Line will too.”

Boston Red Rocks mirrored the effort of Betting Line in the second elimination as driver Tim Tetrick guided the son of Rocknroll Hanover without cover the final half to score in 1:50 3/5 as the 3-5 betting favorite.

American Passport was parked to a 26 4/5 opening quarter by Nvestment Blue Chip, and then yielded the front to Nocturnal Bluechip before the 54 4/5 openig half.  Boston Red Rocks moved with purpose on the turn, but the fractions were not taxing with Paul MacDonell behind Nocturnal Bluechip setting the third quarter in 1:22 4/5.  Once they got into the homestretch activity picked up, though.

Tetrick urged on the Steve Elliott-trained Boston Red Rocks, and he responded to edge away from Big Top Hanover. That colt, driven by Yannick Gingras, would gain late for second with Michaels Victory following the pair home for third. Magnum J and Manhattan Beach completed the qualifiers.  Second choice American Passport was locked in throughout the stretch and failed to qualify.

“I’m a firm believer in this horse,” said Tetrick after the race, in response to a question about the colt’s one previous victory in 2016 in three starts. “He toughed it out and made me look good.”

The two winners will select their posts in Tuesday’s draw for the North America Cup.