06/04/2015 9:15AM

Mohawk: Brett Miller heads north for NA Cup preps

World Wide Racing Photos
Allbeef N Nobull comes into the Somebeachsomewhere off a 1:51 win at Harrah's Philadelphia.

The richest 3-year-old pacing event is just a few weeks away, so it’s really no surprise to see 20 sophomores looking to sort themselves out on Saturday night in two divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk. With an $8,000 starting fee required for the $1 million North America Cup eliminations on June 13, the owners of 14 pacers in the Somebeachsomewhere will have to gauge the progress of their horses and make key decisions. Driver Brett Miller has gone north of the border to test a pair of 3-year-olds with hopes to returning to Ontario in the weeks ahead.

“Yes I plan on being here the next few weekends,” said Miller on Wednesday.

There’s always promise and hope when you get to this stage of the season and Miller will sit behind the undefeated Sportswriter-sired Maxdaddy Blue Chip in the first $78,767 division (race 5) of the Somebeachsomewhere.

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“He’s built like a good horse,” said Miller. “He’s done everything right but he hasn’t faced anyone yet.”

Unraced as a juvenile, Maxdaddy Blue Chip sports a pair of 1:51 1/5 victories in May at Harrah’s Philadelphia racing at the lowest non-winners category. The step up on Saturday night will certainly give Miller and the connections a chance to see what the next move should be.

Maxdaddy Blue Chip drew post two in the tougher division on the card, with nine of the 10 entries also nominated for the North America Cup. Chief in the group would have to be last year’s Breeders Crown champion Traceur Hanover, a son of Western Ideal that will be making his sophomore debut on Saturday after a winning qualifier at Mohawk on May 29 in a 1:52 4/5 clocking. Traceur Hanover starts closest to the pylons.

The well-bred Pierce Hanover drew post nine and gets his first test in stakes competition this year after two impressive overland victories at Mohawk in May.

Trainer Casie Coleman brings Oneisalonelynumber (post 3) to Mohawk after a 1:50 1/5 victory at the Meadowlands on May 23. The altered son of Bettors Delight had previously finished third in a swift New York Sire Stakes event behind In The Arsenal at Tioga Downs.

Allbeef N Nobull (post 2) will be Brett Miller’s other mount in stakes action at Mohawk on Saturday, and though the son of McArdle comes off a victory in the rugged Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, the driver is not exactly sure how he’ll make out in open company. “He wasn’t in the toughest division but he did win,” said Miller, who acted as if Maxdaddy Hanover might be the better of the two. Fortunately in the ninth race and second Somebeachsomewhere division, only half of the field of 10 are eligible for the North America Cup, making it theoretically the easier division on paper.

“Speed means nothing,” said Miller. “It’s all about who you beat. With these young horses you find out more when they get beaten up in a race. Some of them come back stronger and others don’t.”

Allbeef N Nobull converted a pocket trip to score in 1:51 in the May 28 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event at Harrah’s Philadelphia. It was his second win in five starts this year. The colt nearly caught the unbeaten sophomore Rise Up Now in a division of the Pennsylvania All Stars at Pocono on May 9 and has been no worse than second in nine career starts.

Trainer Bob McIntosh is no stranger to big races and he’s brought along Hall of Fame driver John Campbell to guide Go Daddy Go (post 10) in the Somebeachsomewhere. The Ontario-bred son of Ponder captured a Gold Series event at Western Fair last Friday scoring effortlessly in 1:53 1/5 over the tight half-mile track.

Dr. Ian Moore could have a sleeper in this field in Rockin In Heaven, a winner three times in four starts this year. Rockin In Heaven landed post three.

Driver Brett Miller was still buzzing about Uncle Lasse, a 1:51 4/5 record setting 3-year-old trotter he guided last week at The Meadows. “I don’t think I’ve ever sat behind a trotter that could go like that,” Miller said. “He was still digging in at the wire and I know he would never have let a horse go by him.”

The Jimmy Takter-trained full brother to Shake It Cerry has quickly stamped himself among the leading eligibles to the Hambletonian, but Miller isn’t looking that far ahead.

“He’s Ronnie’s (Pierce) horse,” said Miller. “I’m happy to be driving him for as long as I can.”

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