Mohawk offers stellar Saturday night card

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

June 12th, 2018

Less than an hour after Justify captured the Grade I, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes to become only the 13th Triple Crown winner in history and the second in the last four years, serious harness racing fans turned their attention to Mohawk Raceway in Toronto, Canada as the seven-eighths mile oval hosted numerous stakes eliminations for various pacing divisions with a host of lucrative finals on tap for next Saturday.

In the second race on the card, Sudden Passing (Jody Jamieson) left to secure good early position in a 26.3 opener, got shuffled to third when 1-2 favorite Alexis Faith (Doug McNair) cleared past the half in 55.4, angled out at the top of the lane and wore down the odds-on choice to score by a head in 1:51.1 in the first $35,000 elimination of the Fan Hanover Stakes for three-year-old filly pacers. A sophomore daughter of Mach Three trained by Gregg McNair, Sudden Passing notched her second straight score and third win in four starts this year after going winless in five outings as a freshman.

One race later in the $34,000 Preferred for older pacers, McWicked (David Miller) lived up to his role as the 3-5 favorite when he angled out first over from third past the half, grinded his way toward Easy Lover Hanover through the far turn then edged past that one in the lane to score by two lengths in 1:49.1. A seven-year-old McArdle stallion trained by Casie Coleman, McWicked notched his second win in three starts this year and pushed his lifetime earnings past $2.4 million. Both of his wins this year have come in the Preferred over the Mohawk strip.

One race later in the first $50,000 North America Cup elim for three-year-old colt pacers, Stay Hungry (Doug McNair) lived up to his role as the even-money choice when he rallied from well off the pace and widest of all to nail 3-2 second choice Done Well (Tim Tetrick) for a head victory in 1:50. A sophomore son of the late Somebeachsomewhere trained by Tony Alagna, Stay Hungry notched his first win in two starts this year and posted his seventh win in 11 career tries while handing Done Well the first setback in his six-race career for trainer Brian Brown.

Then one race later in the second $50,000 North America Cup elim for sophomore pacing colts, Wes Delight (Corey Callahan) benefited from pocket trip behind American History (Yannick Gingras) through honest early fractions, angled out midstretch and outlasted the late kick of Nutcracker Sweet (Tim Tetrick) to score in 1:50.2 for his fifth win in six starts this year.

Then one race later in the second $35,000 Fan Hanover elim for three-year-old filly pacers, Kissin In The Sand (Scott Zeron) edged 45-1 outsider and 21-1 upsetter to score in 1:51.1 for her first win in two starts this season while Youaremycandygirl (Gingras) failed to reach the final.

Then one race later in the first $35,000 Roses Are Red elim for pacing fillies and mares, Blazin Britches (David Miller) posted a mild surprise in 1:51. Shartin N made an early break and impeded a rival but advanced to the final despite being disqualified from fourth to fifth.

Then one race later in the third $50,000 North America Cup elimination, Lather Up (Montrell Teague) maintained the perfect start to his sophomore campaign when he rallied inside late to prevail in 1:49.2 for owner-breeders Gary & Barbara Illes. He looms the likely favorite in the NA Cup final this weekend.

Then one race later in the second $35,000 Roses Are Red final for pacing distaffers, Tequila Monday (David Miller) gained command earlier and was never threatened as the Maryland-bred scored handily in 1:51 for her third win on five starts this year.

That same evening at Scioto Downs in Ohio on the rain-dampened 'good' five-eighths mile oval,