06/21/2015 1:44AM

Mohawk: Wakizashi Hanover captures North America Cup

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Wakizashi Hanover pounced from the pocket to upset in the NA Cup Final.

We have a new leader in the 3-year-old pacing colt and gelding division and his name is Wakizashi Hanover. The son of Dragon Again rode a perfect trip to a 1:48 victory in the C$1,000,000 North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night.

Sent off as the 2-5 chalk, Wiggle It Jiggleit, who came into the race unbeaten in 11 career starts, was hustled away from the gate with abandon by driver Montrell Teague. You could visually see him trying to rein in the Mr Wiggles-sired gelding past the opening fractions in 25 1/5. Wakizashi Hanover was in close attendance in the pocket second as the outer tier was loaded with the parked out foes led by Penji Hanover, who was tracked by Artspeak.

The half was a bit more reasonable in 53 3/5, but a 27 2/5 third quarter left Wiggle It Jiggleit vulnerable in the stretch. A pocket-sitting Wakizashi Hanover took dead aim under a drive by Tim Tetrick and edged clear for the three-quarter-length victory over the brave pacesetter.

Betting Exchange angled in the stretch for third. In The Arsenal finished fourth.

Two-year-old champion Artspeak was parked every step of the mile behind cover and came up flat when asked for speed around the final turn.

“I feel like we are the new sheriff in town,” said trainer Joann Looney-King. “It is overwhelming to show people that this is the good horse we thought he was.”

It was a perfect tactical steer by Tetrick, who won this race in 2013 with Captaintreacherous.

“I was trying to get away in the pocket. At least I was hoping I would,” said Tetrick about the trip, before mentioning the stretch drive. “My horse felt really comfortable and just pounced on him.”

George Teague, Jr., owner of Wiggle It Jiggleit, gave kudos to the winner on a job well done. "I have never seen a horse yet that hasn't got beat,” said Teague. “I'm not going to say better trip. Tonight the better horse won."

Wakizashi Hanover, owned by Tri County Stable of Truro, Nova Scotia, has won five of six starts in 2015. The gelding instantly vaults to the top of the earnings leaderboard for all horses this year with the C$500,000 payday.

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