06/06/2017 6:43PM

Mohawk: North America Cup eliminations set for Saturday

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The battle for a spot in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup will be intense, as 25 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings were entered to race in this Saturday’s eliminations at Mohawk Racetrack.

The 25 pacers have been split into three $50,000 eliminations and only the top three finishers from each division, plus a fourth-place finisher drawn by lot, will advance to the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup on June 17.

The number of entrants is the highest since 30 entered the 2010 edition.

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The first elimination is headlined by Downbytheseaside (PP4, David Miller), who will be making his first start in Canada since winning the Governor’s Cup last November at Woodbine Racetrack. The Brian Brown trainee is undefeated in three starts this season and comes into the North America Cup elimination off a dominating victory in the $300,000 Art Rooney at Yonkers on May 27.

A son of Somebeachsomewhere, Downbytheseaside won eight of 13 starts as a rookie and equaled the World Record of 1:49. Downbytheseaside has earned $188,910 this season to bring his career earnings to $833,616 for owners Country Club Acres Inc, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing.

The first elimination will have a field of eight competing and is carded as Race 3.

The second division features Dan Patch Award winner Huntsville (PP2, Tim Tetrick). The Ray Schnittker trainee is two for three this season and is coming to Mohawk off a blowout 1:49 victory at Harrah’s Philadelphia on June 1.

Huntsville stamped himself as the Winter-Book favorite after he won seven of 11 starts, including the Breeders Crown, during his 2-year-old season. The son of Somebeachsomewhere has tremendous speed and displayed it last season when he also equaled the World Record of 1:49.

Huntsville’s only prior start on Canadian soil was a runner-up finish to Downbytheseaside in the Governor’s Cup. He comes into his Cup elimination with career earnings of $776,263 for owners Schnittker, Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo and Steven Arnold.

A field of nine will be competing in the second elimination, which is carded as Race 8.

The final elimination stars another Brown trainee and the third member of harness racing’s current “Big Three” in the 3-year-old pacing colt division.

Fear The Dragon (PP7, David Miller) is undefeated in four starts this season and holds a victory over Huntsville from May 21 at Pocono Downs. The son of Dragon Again had a tremendous rookie season, posting five wins in 11 starts and hitting the board in 10.

Although Fear The Dragon gained plenty of attention last year, his stablemate Downbytheseaside grabbed most of the headlines. This season, Fear The Dragon has quickly put himself in the conversation of division leader and offers the Brown barn an outstanding one-two punch heading into the Cup.

Fear The Dragon is owned by Emerald Highlands Farm.

The final elimination also has both of last Saturday’s Somebeachsomewhere division winners competing. Jim Campbell trainee Macs Jackpot (PP1, David Miller) and Luc Blais student Hurricane Beach (PP2, Louis Philippe Roy) will each look to build off last week’s triumphs.

The third elimination has a field of eight and is carded as Race 9.

Winners of the eliminations will earn the right to select their post position for the $1 million final. The post positions for the final will be drawn at a special Press Conference and Luncheon on Tuesday, June 13 at Mohawk.

Post time for Saturday night’s card is 7:30 p.m.

For more information on the Pepsi North America Cup and all the festivities, visit www.NorthAmericaCup.com

Here are the full fields for the Pepsi North America Cup eliminations.

North America Cup – Elimination #1 (Race 3)

1. Lawrencetown Beach (Paul MacDonell – Paul MacDonell)

2. Ideal Wheel (Louis Philippe Roy – Casie Coleman)

3. Western Hill (Doug McNair – Tony Alagna)

4. Downbytheseaside (David Miller – Brian Brown)

5. Some Attitude (David Miller – Bob McIntosh)

6. Eddard Hanover (Matt Kakaley – Ron Burke)

7. Sports Column (Chris Christoforou – Blake MacIntosh)

8. Stealth Bomber (Brett Miller – Tony O’Sullivan)

North America Cup – Elimination #2 (Race 8)

1. Arsenal Seelster (Jonathan Drury – Colin Johnson)

2. Huntsville (Tim Tetrick – Ray Schnittker)

3. Beckhams Z Tam (Ricky Macomber Jr – Jamie Macomber)

4. Classic Pro (Trevor Henry – Dr. Ian Moore)

5. Ozone Blue Chip (Tim Tetrick – Ron Coyne)

6. Normandy Beach (Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke)

7. Beyond Delight (Sylvain Filion – Tony O’Sullivan)

8. Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley – Ron Burke)

9. Richard Hill (Doug McNair – Richard Moreau)

North America Cup – Elimination #3 (Race 9)

1. Macs Jackpot (David Miller – Jim Campbell)

2. Hurricane Beach (Louis Philippe Roy – Luc Blais)

3. Filibuster Hanover (Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke)

4. Mc Mach (Paul MacDonell – Bob McIntosh)

5. Darlings Dragon (Donald Dupont – Marie Dupont)

6. Ocean Colony (Yannick Gingras – Jimmy Takter)

7. Fear The Dragon (David Miller – Brian Brown)

8. Streakavana (Sylvain Filion – Scott McEneny)

-edited release (WEG)