06/03/2016 9:55PM

Mohawk: Snyder sends out two contenders in Somebeachsomewhere

Curtis Salonick
Lyons Snyder is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line for Saturday's eighth race at Mohawk.

New York owner Jeffrey Snyder has seen plenty of success in Canadian stakes races through the years. On Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack, he sends out Michaels Victory and Lyons Snyder in split divisions of the C$75,000 Somebeachsomewhere with hopes of vying for his fifth career North America Cup on June 18.

Fresh off a New Jersey Sire Stakes upset of reigning 2-year-old U.S. champion Boston Red Rocks, Michaels Victory heads north of the border for Snyder rather than race in the $100,000 state-bred final at The Meadowlands the same night. The decision to skip the final for the engagement at Mohawk came down to multiple factors.

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“I wanted to get him acclimated to Canada and I thought they would go for more money. The listed purse was $225,000 but they are only going for $75,000. Also, in New Jersey I knew I had to face three really good horses in Boston Red Rocks, Katies Rocker and Ideal Rocky,” said Snyder.

The 32-1 Sire Stakes win by Michaels Victory may have come as a shock to the bettors but Snyder cited a conversation with driver Scott Zeron that made him a believer in his horse. “He said that he liked Michaels Victory better than Lyons Snyder,” said Snyder, referring to his other Somebeachsomewhere starter on the card.

Michaels Victory, a 3-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover out of the Snyder homebred mare Michelles Victory, is only lightly staked in 2016. He “didn’t act the part” in the early going of 2015 which kept Snyder from nominating to the Meadowlands Pace, but the Mark Silva trainee is eligible for the C$1,000,000 North America Cup and $500,000 Max Hempt Memorial at Pocono Downs two weeks later.

Although Snyder avoided the Sire Stakes Final citing the tough competition, Michaels Victory clearly drew into the stronger division of the Somebeachsomewhere (race six). He’ll face trainer Casie Coleman’s Betting Line, who just won on May 21 in 1:49 4/5, and one of trainer Tony Alagna’s top prospects in American Passport.

Michaels Victory drew post seven in the field of 10 sophomore pacers.

The path to victory could be a bit easier for Lyons Snyder in the second division (race eight) and Snyder is high on the son of Well Said.

“I think he has more speed and more ability,” said Snyder comparing Lyons Snyder to Michaels Victory. “I think he will pick up his game on the big track.”

Lyons Snyder was sent off as the betting favorite two starts back against a strong field in the $561,500 Pennsylvania Classic Final at Pocono. While chasing a slow pace set by race-winner Check Six, Lyons Snyder never found his best stride and finished a disappointing fifth. Snyder blamed the poor performance on the switch to racing with two headpoles instead of just one. “He just didn’t feel comfortable,” said Snyder.

Lyons Snyder, who Snyder co-owns with Geoffrey Lyons Mound, rebounded in a big way on May 22 with a 1:49 4/5 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes win over a sloppy track at Pocono. This week the $130,000 Harrisburg purchase, also trained by Silva, will have to beat last year’s champion Canadian 2-year-old Control The Moment.

Control The Moment has only tasted defeat once in nine career starts for trainer Bradley Maxwell. He makes his 2016 debut in the Somebeachsomewhere after two second-place finishes in qualifiers.

The Somebeachsomewhere is the typical stepping stone to the North America Cup eliminations on June 11 at Mohawk. Both Michaels Victory and Lyons Snyder are sired by former Snyder-owned Cup winners. His other NA Cup wins came with Cam’s Card Shark and Red River Hanover.
Post time for the 11-race card, which also features a pair of Ontario Gold Finals for 3-year-old pacing fillies and two divisions of the Graduate series for 4-year-olds, is 7:30 p.m.