• La Coronel (5-1) leads them all the way in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.Posted 3 days ago
  • Rubilinda (6-5) finds the wire just in time to take the Pebbles Stakes.Posted 3 days ago
  • Engage (1-2) rolls home from last to win the Grade 3 Futurity Stakes.Posted 3 days ago
  • Bolt d'Oro is the 12-1 favorite in the current Las Vegas line for Kentucky Derby 2018.Posted 6 days ago
  • Romantic Vision (6-1) takes the sloppy Spinster (G1) at Keeneland.Posted 9 days ago
  • Unique Bella (1-5) returns with a clear victory in the L. A. Woman (G3) at Santa Anita.Posted 9 days ago
  • Flameaway (5-1) wins a three-horse photo finish in the Dixiana Bourbon (G3) at a wet Keeneland.Posted 9 days ago
  • War Flag (9-1) wins the stretch battle in Belmont's Flower Bowl (G1).Posted 9 days ago
  • Separationofpowers (9-5) impresses in the Frizette at Belmont Park.Posted 9 days ago
  • Roy H (4-5) lives up to favoritism in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship.Posted 10 days ago
Breeders' Cup 2017
HRN Original Blog:
Drive On

North America CUP #30 preview and full-card analysis

NA Cup
Photo: Mohawk

It’s time for North America Cup #30! There are several storylines that have developed in what promises to be an exciting competitive race. Can morning line favorite Captain Treacherous follow in his great daddy’s footsteps and take the Cup just 5 years after Somebeachsomewhere’s memorable tour-de-force? Can local hope Vegas Vacation, 4 for 4 in 2013, bring home a popular win and set off a wild celebration? Will driver Sylvain Filion follow in his father Yves footsteps (Runnymede Lobell in Cup #5) and drive Fool Me Once into the Mohawk winner’s circle? Is Odds On Equulus back to his best from after a disappointing Somebeachsomewhere Stakes stretch drive and can he threaten the 3 elimination winners? Will Tony Alagna’s “other” entry Wake Up Peter shock them all? There are certainly many possibilities tonight and the best part of all is, that at press time, conditions are perfect for a run at the stakes and track record of 148.1 set by Sportswriter in 2010. That retired stallion will be on display at the entrance for the public to visit and take pictures with as just one of many attractions and promotions that are sure to attract a large and enthusiastic crowd.


As far as the Cup goes, we feel that many of these colts have caught up to Captain Treacherous from a speed standpoint and while we aren’t going to take anything away from what “The Captain” has accomplished and his stellar record thus far we certainly don’t see his opponents laying down in a $1,000,000 race – especially considering at least one of them, Fool Me Once, paced faster last week than the Captain’s fastest lifetime mark. From a trip standpoint it’s hard to tell how this will go other than the inside 4 are likely to leave rapidly to ensure position with Fool Me Once looking to lead or sit the pocket. We see local hero Vegas Vacation sitting 4th, 5th or 6th early and looking for 2nd-over cover. If he gets that live cover, he will be very very tough to hole off. People may not remember at this point that he fires home like a rocket off a helmet, but we haven’t forgotten. We’ll call him for the popular local win, followed by another who will be advancing in the flow, Odds On Equulus, who returned to his best form at the perfect time last week. He should also be bet to win at 8/1 or thereabouts. We will also be using Fool Me Once in the early pick as he is just too sharp to leave out and hope we are live to the last leg and topple The Captain, just like we did last fall in The Breeders Crown when we cashed the pick 4. Now, on to the Full-Card Analysis and “Drive On Bets” segment – which has been on fire lately.


RACE 1: PURSE $16000. NW $9,200 LAST 5 STARTS OR NW $20,000 LAST 10 STARTS.

#6 Winbak Warrior steps up a level following an impressive win a class lower. Unlikely to go postward at his 6/1 m/l odds. Missed a week, but gets top billing vs. these. #7 Im Feeling Good shows a win in 51 flat just a month ago – fits vs. these and may offer some exotics value. #8 Machs Beach Boy drops back to the class where he last won – a hugely profitable angle for us – this looks like a good 3-horse exacta box combo.



#3 Maven is a bona fide superstar and should not have any trouble with these. Figures an easy winner at a short price. Bet against her at your own peril. For the bottom rung of the exacta and tri we will be using #2 Personal Style, a very consistent mare who will be vaulting past opponents late and #8 Unfoisdansmavie from the Burke stable who came with a huge closing brush to be a close third last week.



#2 Bee A Magician, 2012 ‘O Brien Award winner, has returned to the racetrack with a vengeance, winning 4 races either on the lead or first-over showing a new more aggressive style. There appears to be quite a bit of speed to chase in here and this filly will likely rally from a bit further back this time for a popular win. #9 Shared Past went a monster first-over trip last time when stung in a 27.3 third quarter and still held second. Great number for the exotics and rates an upset chance. #3 Angies Lucky Star will be rolling up front hoping to take ‘em all the way. On our tris and exactas. #5 2012 Dan Patch award winner To Dream On has not returned in good form at all and is a strong play against for us against much sharper mares. Will take plenty of action in the exotic and could easily miss the ticket.


Race 4: PURSE $20000. NW $14,000 LAST 5 STARTS OR NW $28,000 LAST 10 STARTS.

#5 Top Gear looks solid in this spot coming off a good effort in the Preferred class after handing millionaire Mystician a loss the race prvious a class lower than this. We’ll also be using #2 Leafs And Wings on our pick 4 tickets and #3 Donau. The former showed excellent early and late speed winning a class lower recently and is certainly good value at 15/1 m/l. The latter races much better closer to the pace and is likely to blast off the gate vs. these and look for a pocket trip, which he converted into a 150.4 win in this class 6 race back.



The two main protagonists in this dash both like to race near the front and it is possible that they could fry each other and set the race up for a closer, it’s unlikely either driver will eliminate his filly in a $390K race. #8 Jerseylicious comes in from The Big M with a 149 flat mile at the top of her card and will be very tough and may go off as second choice to 2012 ‘O Brien winner #4 Iluvthenitelife who obviously figures tough in here. We like the #9 Belle Boyd for exacta and tri tickets. She certainly hasn’t placed a hoof in the wrong place with 7 wins and a 2nd in 8 starts this year and should also be included on deeper pick 4 tickets as she rates a decent chance of toppling the top 2 with the right trip.


RACE 6: PURSE $24000. NW $25,000 LAST 5 STARTS, OR NW $37,000 LAST 10 STARTS

This is a race you need to go deep on pick 4 tickets – we are using 4 and still aren’t supremely confident. That being written, we like the #9 Mach Dreamer – who drops in from two sub-150 miles in the Preferred class best. Dominator Doug McNair should have this one live on a helmet turning home and will be swallowing up horses down the middle of the track. May offer a square price from the 9-hole, too. #1 All Speed Hanover has obviously seen better days, but, remarkably turned in a sub-1:49 mile in only his second start following a 20-month absence from the racing wars. A must-use from the rail. #3 Mystician has delivered twice in a row as chalk in lower classes and need only an honest early pace to contend. Also using #7 Simply Business, whose biggest moment came right here at The ‘Hawk as a 2YO in The Metro Pace Final.



See above for race analysis.  1.#2 VEGAS VACATION 2. #8 ODDS ON

EQUULUS 3. #4 CAPTAIN TREACHEROUS 4. #3 FOOL ME ONCE  Using #2, #8, and #3 on pick 4's.


RACE 8: PURSE $16000. NW $9,200 LAST 5 STARTS OR NW $20,000 LAST 10 STARTS.

The second pick 4 kicks off here and WE love a single that is unlikely to go off anywhere near his 7/1 m/l odds. #3 Hilarious Halo came within one tick of equalling his life mark two back with a stellar win a class lower. Stepped up two classes last time, his 6th-place finish gets him into this class and a repeat of his penultimate effort makes short work of these. Single. #5 Cams Tux likely wins his last if he doesn’t break, but the extra week off doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that things are straightened out. #9 Wild Dragon drops into a class where he has been competitive repeatedly in the past and is a good exotics horse if not the worst-drawing horse of all time in terms of post position.



This is a leg in which you should go deep in search of a price. We will be using 4 horses starting with the rapidly-improving Moreau pupil #2 Gotta Secret who blasted home in 27.2 to take his elim and a new life’s mark last week. Also a good win bet if close to the m/l price of 5/1. Also using #5 Toocool Forschool who is very fast but has gait issues, #7 Hamdalla, an exacta machine (12 of 16 first/second) and #9 Flanagan Memory who has been closing stoutly this year.


RACE 10: PURSE $24000. NW 4 RACES OR $125,000 LIFETIME.

We feel confident going 3-deep here. #3 Varadero Hanover and #4 Sweet Talking Satin both drop from the NA Cup elims and hold a huge class edge. #6 Windsong Jack – a stellar OSS performer last year – makes a belated start to the season but is dangerous nonetheless.


RACE 11: A competitive field of stellar Free For Allers complete the pick 4 in what looks to be a great edition of The Mohawk Gold Cup. We are going 6-deep in the pick 4 here and if live would love to see #8 Classic Rock N Roll mow them all down late. While hos current form doesn’t exactly jump off the page, he has been lightly raced since the Levy series and comes into this race tight having raced on both the 1st and 8th of June. Rates an upset chance at a  monster price. #5 Modern Legend returns to the local circuit off a very close 3rd to 147.3 winner #2 Fred and Ginger in the TVG FFA series at The Meadowlands. Using all three plus Molson Pace winner #1 State Treasurer, former NA Cup winner #6 Up The Credit and #9 Warawee Needy who is sure to be on a speed mission from the outset.


RACE 12: PURSE $16000. NW $9,200 LAST 5 STARTS OR NW $20,000 LAST 10 STARTS.

Looking for another upset here with #1 Rollem Up who has hit his best stride recently and will be circling horses on the last turn for A-Mac. Square price and a good shot to hit the exacta. #4 Scottiestrikesfame showed a hugely-improved effort in this class last start circling horses widest and is a big threat in here also at a good price. #8 Cool Rock is always closing latest and fastest but his style seems to work better at Woodbine which is strange really.


RACE 13: #3 Kindly Poet, the classy veteran, moves inside from a full house of 10-holes and 7-holes in his last 5 starts: Handicapping 101 – he’ll be right there on the wire tonight. #7 Goban comes in from Pocono and is almost a lock to blast to the top for The Postman. He may take these a long way. #2 Fire On The Water raced huge last time on this his favorite oval and is a threat to take another.





DRIVE ON BETS: Current Balance: $4296.70

                                 Starting Balance: $2000

Tonight’s wagers:

Race 1: $10 exacta box 6-7-8, $2 tri box 6-7-8 = $72

Race 3: $20 exacta 2/39; $5 exacta 39/2; $10 tri 2/39/39; $5 tri 39/2/39 = $80

Race 4: $1 Pick 4: 235/489/1379/238 = $108 (can also be played for $21.60 for 20 cents)

Race 7: $20 exacta box 2-8; $40 win #8 = $80

Race 8: $1 Pick 4: 3/2579/346/125689 = $72; $20 exacta 3/59; $5 tri 3/59/59 = total $102

Race 11: $2 exacta 8/12569; $4 exacta 12569/8; $2 pick 3 125689/148/3 = total $66

Race 12: $5 exacta box 148; $3 tri box 148 = total $48

Total wagers = $556

Current Balance = $3,740.30

Starting Balance = $2,000



comments powered by Disqus

Older Comments about North America CUP #30 preview and full-card analysis...

Driveon. That's good. Hopefully she will do what she promised for racing in Ontario. Gural did a great promotion for The Meadowlands by offering a one percent interest in Captain Treacherous to a lucky patron. This one percent is a percentage of his entire racing career. So after Sat. The guy won over $5,000 for the Captain's victory.
Buck, there was a smattering of (expected) boos but the Premier was generally well-received.
The Captain looked impressive in this win. If he keeps this up he will be 1-9 by the time he gets to the Little Brown Jug.
Driveon. I definitely did forget WN's performance. Out of curiosity, how was Kathleen Wynne received at Mohawk? On TVG I was hearing some booing.
You forgot Warrawee Needy on home soil uncorking a wicked 25.2 last 1/4 in the Gold Cup, Buck.
Results: R1 - #8 scratched=refund of $52 R3 exacta 2-3 paid $9.40 = $94 R8 pick 4 paid $506 - $652 = +96. Current bankroll=$4392.30. Starting bankroll: $2,000. +$2392.30
Great races at Mohawk. Didnt think the Captain would get up in time but he did. Maven and I Luv the Nitelife were also highlights of a great card.
Thanks bro!
That's a nice bankroll, Brotha!

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.

Top Stories