Updated on 06/09/2012 11:36PM

Mohawk: Sweet Lou paces insane 1:47 4/5 mile to lead North America Cup finalists

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Sweet Lou stands next to the timer after his record setting mile.

Ten horses qualified for the $1.5 million North America Cup final on June 16 at Mohawk Racetrack, but judging from the eliminations nine of the select group may be racing for second money. Sweet Lou set a Canadian record for 3-year-olds with a 1:47 4/5 mile in the second of two eliminations to advance into the final.

The action was hot and heavy from the onset with Warrawee Needy and Bettors Edge both leaving off the wings of the gate with high speed. Well past the quarter in :26, Warrawee Needy took command for a short spell. Sweet Lou quickly came to call and took charge at the half in :53.

There were no challengers as Sweet Lou continued the fast pace to the tune of a 1:20 1/5 three-quarter time. In mid-stretch Warrawee Needy took aim out of the pocket, but Sweet Lou proved too tough.

"I think the post draw means so much, so I really worked hard to win," said driver Dave Palone, who along with winning owner/trainer Ron Burke will get to choose Sweet Lou's starting slot in the final.

The top five finishers from each elimination qualify for the final. In addition to Sweet Lou, Warrawee Needy, Thinking Out Loud, Bettors Edge, and Simply Business earned spots.

In the first elimination, a wild finish resulted in a win for Dapper Dude, who split foes for a head-long victory in 1:49 3/5.

Following fractions of :27 1/5, :54 4/5, and 1:21 3/5, Mel Mara had the lead at the head of the stretch with a host of colts in pursuit. A Rocknroll Dance continued to challenge first over as Pet Rock loomed just off cover. But it was Dapper Dude and Time To Roll from fourth and fifth over that had the most stretch pace.

"He kept digging in right to the wire and we had just enough to win," said driver John Campbell. 

Time To Roll, Pet Rock, State Treasure, and A Rocknroll Dance crossed the line in that order to join Dapper Dude in the final.

Post positions for the $1.5 million North America Cup will be drawn on Tuesday, June 12.