08/21/2013 3:00PM

Mohawk: Freshman pacers gearing up for Metro

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Play It Again Sam looms large in his Metro elimination.

The Metro Pace, the sport’s richest event for two-year-old pacing colts, drew 26 starters for elimination races this Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. Play It Again Sam, a $25,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase from the first crop of Shadow Play, will put his seven race win streak on the line in one of the three $40,000 elimination heats, race seven on the 12-race Mohawk program. First post is 7:25 p.m.

Play It Again Sam is an interesting moniker considering that appears to be exactly what is at work here. Dr. Ian Moore was the successful trainer behind the enormously successful Shadow Play and now he appears to have plucked the genuine article, if not duplicate of his former protégé.

Last week in a division of the Nassagaweya, the colt went wire-to-wire in 1:52, his best performance to date. Brought along extremely carefully by his connections Play It Again Sam appears to be primed for Mohawk’s most elite race for juveniles having drawn the pole position on Saturday.

Part-owner Wayne Eric Whebby has been to the big dances before. His Feelin Friskie finished second in the $1.5 million North America Cup in 2006 and three years later his Keep It Real was third in the very same race.

This year’s Metro will be the first without a Woodrow Wilson winner entering the fray. The onetime benchmark has been retired leaving 26 entered in the eliminations without a surefire leader.

Moore’s Arthur Blue Chip, also by Shadow Play, was a more pricey purchase at $135,000 last fall at Harrisburg but he’s already earned $168,387 with four wins in six starts this season. He drew post four in the fifth race first elimination heat.

First crop sire Art Official is well represented in the third elimination heat (race 9) with Lets Drink On It. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. has been named to drive and that’s understandable considering he guided the colt to his 1:51 3/5 personal best at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on July 17. Joe Seekman trains the colt.

There will also be two elimination heats for the Shes A Great Lady (2 year-old pacing fillies) and the Canadian Pacing Derby for the best aged pacers in North America on the program.

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