It's North America Cup night! Drive On analysis right here!

It's North America Cup night! Drive On analysis right here!
Photo: Norm Files

Tonight is the biggest night of harness racing on the Canadian calendar as the signature event the $1,000,000 The North America Cup goes off along with The Roses Are Red Final, The Mohawk Gold Cup and the Fan Hanover Final. On a beautiful spring evening there should be some fantastic racing, highlighted by an extremely competitive looking NA Cup Field.

Here is my analysis of the evening’s stakes races, starting with a rundown of each entrant in the North America Cup from the rail out:

1.       BEAT THE DRUM: This son of 2007 Cup winner Tell All comes into the race with some sneaky good form, improving his late speed noticeably in his most recent two starts with two 25.4 kickers including the one he fired off while closing for second in his elimination. He is a good one to use in the exotics and wider pick 4 tickets, especially with Gingras in the bike.


2.       MCWICKED: This McCardle son has really blossomed under the care of conditioner Coleman this spring and made multiple moves to win his elimination. We called him to win the Final before the elims were raced. There is no reason to think otherwise after watching his lifetime-best performance last week.



3.       TELLLIKEITIS: Regally-bred colt powered home to win his elimination in a lifetime-best 148.4 in his elimination. That was off a perfect following trip, but he certainly merits respect.


4.       LYONSSOMEWHERE: This undefeated son of the great 2008 NA Cup winner Somebeachsomewhere was ultra-impressive blasting down the Mohawk stretch in 25.4 while winning his elimination. Most noticeable was that driver Callahan was statue-like in the bike the entire stretch. A huge performance tonight would be no surprise whatsoever.


5.       LETS DRINK ON IT: He has been coming up a bit short so far this year, but could certainly hit the ticket with a good trip.


6.       IDEAL COWBOY: Figures to be part of the early pace, but it would be a bit of a surprise if he was still around at the finish.


7.       HES WATCHING: To me, the pace of this race doesn’t shape up in his favor. If he leaves, he won’t get the 27 and change first ¼ he’s used to while heading for the front and if he takes back his closing brush is questionable. We’ll be just watching He’s Watching.


8.       LUCK BE WITHYOU: Last year’s Breeders Crown winner has his work cut out from the 8-hole, but wily veteran Pierce might just work out a good enough trip to get a piece of the pie.


9.       JK ENDOFANERA: This son of Art Major made a bad pre-race appearance last week then drifted out badly down the lane. We prefer horse that look like they’re going forward. He’s a toss for us.


10.   SOMETIMES SAID: This son of Well Said went a big first-up trip last week in his elim pacing 25.4 only to be overtaken late by McWicked. If not for post 10 we’d give him a big shot. Campbell may still work his way into the Super.


Selections: 2-4-1


Let’s take a look at some of the other Finals that go on this huge night of racing, starting with race 4, The Goodtimes Final which goes for $271,000:

All eyes will be on heavy favorite #5 TRIXTON who was an easy unpressured winner of his elim in 153.3. While he looks formidable, we give an outside shot to the other elimination winner, #4 FLYHAWK EL DURADO who impressively powered away from his rivals with a blazing move around the final turn. Expect Gingras to test the heavy chalk at some point of the mile with this talented son of Conway Hall. #9 SPEAK THE TRUTH took a shot at the chalk first up at the exact wrong time last week when the pace was accelerating dramatically and he paid the price as a result. He stands a very good chance to hit the exotics.

Selections: 4-5-9


Now we move to race 5, The Armbro Flight Final where there will be an expected clash of the older mare trotting titans. #4 PERFECT ALLIANCE has been just that this season, rattling off 11 straight (mostly easy) wins. She will be tough to overhaul, but we feel last year’s USTA Horse OF The Year, #9 BEE A MAGICIAN may do just that. She has been passively driven in her first two starts and tonight the hammer should drop and we’ll see the real Queen Bee. #3 DORSAY pulled off a 54 to 1 shocker but is unlikely ever to see that kind of a setup again. Minor share tonight is expected.

Selections: 9-4-3


Next we move to The Roses Are Red Final for older pacing mares. Last week we loved #1 YAGONNAKISSMEORNOT and were rewarded with a 7/1 return. She comes into the final as a likely underdog again as there are others that figure to take more money. Let’s see if Pierce can get her a trip and another upset win. #4 ANDROVETTE won her elimination despite not being used much at ball and certainly will be more aggressively driven tonight. She is a formidable foe. #5 CAMILLE has a good shot of hitting the exotics at a big price and isn’t the worst one to use on wider pick 4 tickets.

Selections: 1-4-5

Lastly we move to the $457K Fan Hanover Final for 3YO Pacing fillies. We have been big fans of #9 MAJOR DANCER right from the start as noted here:   There’s no reason why she shouldn’t produce a lifetime best tonight as she has been perfectly prepared by trainer Coleman. #2 UFFIZI HANOVER was lights out last week pacing home in 25.1 to surge late to win her elim. She is certainly a major player again. #10 BEACH GAL was picked up right on the wire in her elim and should be ready to produce her best here if Tetrick can work out a trip.

Here is my full-card analysis for all of tonight’s action at Mohawk Raceway.


Meet Garnet Barnsdale


I am an Honours Graduate from Humber College School of Journalism and a lifelong race fan and handicapper who has been watching and wagering on harness racing for more than 30 years. I was a staff writer for The Standardbred magazine in the late '80s. I will attempt to provide both beginners and veterans with valuable information and handicapping tips and advice on the top events from all major harness circuits.

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