N.A. Cup Card Mobilizes Best Of Divisions’ Early-Season Stars With Stakes Adorning Mohawk Card

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June 15th, 2017

Heat waves over the northeast make the sunsets more colorful and later than any other time of the year. Sometimes that heat compels standardbreds to race faster and faster. The program on June 17 at Mohawk promises to offer ground-sizzling miles as glamour-boy pacers own the munificently filled stakes program with their marquee event, The North America Cup. Extra advice is available for the three Pick 4 wagers.

Among the stakes included that night is the prime Goodtimes Final for soph trotters storming down the Hambletonian Trail. Our TwinSpires-exclusive blog by the same title continues to analyze great wagering races from the August-classic eligible fillies and colts, focusing this week on the giant event.

Also beginning this week is our Freshmen Frolic section, where we sensationalize on the early two-year-old races around the continent.

More hot contenders from overnights around North America appear in our weekly H2W (the horses-to-watch) list, a great tool for solo wagers, single-race and multi-race exotics. Choose wisely, do your own handicapping, and then compare and consider our H2W selections when playing your bets. Of course, remember to be fully armed with a plentiful TwinSpires betting account.


The Roses Are Red final will be another march of chalk bettors backing Lady Shadow. Though we must have respect for her, we must also turn away from that onslaught of win money and see the value in Call Me Queen Be. At three she was the biggest threat to the top three in the division, perfectly deserving of the upsets that proved it. She comes back to take it up a notch, so to speak, and could become the top mare in a tougher, older division. She made this final easily but don’t let an easy trip fool you—she can take on the big gals and in this classy field she may offer one of the best win prices of her season.


Hannelore Hanover leads the Armbro Flight Final field and if the prohibitive price thrills you, play with the crowd. No matter, this is still a horse race and there are still some very good horses in here that “Hannelore” should fear.

Charmed Life beat Hannelore this season and even though it was Hannelore’s season opener, “Life” did the trick and came back to win her elim for this final easily. Caprice Hill is just getting started and looks well. Though she was short when Life beat her, she raced well enough to make the final and can only get better. Broadway Donna is the biggest threat, we think, and we may be offered a decent price on her considering the bias of win wagering expected on Hannelore.


The Fan Hanover Final gathers glamour-girl pacers with a few conceits in the field. Shes Watching, Tony Alagna’s filly, is the “buzz” horse here, getting a lot of talk due to her relationship to a popular pacer, He’s Watching, a few years back. That one was nowhere near as good as he was prompted to be by public handicappers, yet his wave of popularity has been a bloodline boost. Idyllic Beach, Jimmy Takter’s filly, obviously one of the favorites, has more to worry about from Tequila Monday than from Shes Watching, as well as there should be a serious challenge from Agent Q.

Agent Q is a top member of this division but in this group she will be under-rated, thus offering a very good price. There will be too much money bet on Idyllic Beach. Tequila Monday and Shes Watching are just enough to make Agent Q a great price for a reasonable upset.


The North America Cup used to be a million-dollar affair in the shadow of the Meadowlands Pace. In 2017 it is a bigger event, even if the million is Canadian tender, while the “Pace” has lessened in stature since the new Meadowlands structure and administration emerged. Though the Pace attracts many of the “Cup” sophs, the Cup, though early in the season, pumps the division’s best participants with high-profile status.

For the million, the final was assembled from three elims last week, none that surprised anyone, sans a quick mistake that was corrected by Fear The Dragon in late stretch. He won, Huntsville won and Downbytheseaside won. How the public will divvy this trio in the betting pools may not be so predictable, other than to say that “Fear” won’t be the top choice, which may not have been the case if he hadn’t almost fallen from a bad step while destroying his foes in the elim. Even though Fear was forced at least six wide during a brief gallop and regulated his stride before crossing the finish line comfortably over any closers, Fear may be punished in the pools by that circumstance, as opposed to rising in chances due to his brilliant recovery. This is good for those of us to whom the power of Fear has been obvious even before he won four straight, including a defeat of Huntsville.

He may be the strongest third choice (or, at worse, a tight co-sharing second choice) to show up at a Cup since Captaintreacherous was continually denied odds lower than he won with during his sterling soph season.


There’s $75,000 on the line for the North America Cup Consolation and clearly we must endorse Hurricane Beach. We hit him in a Somebeachsomewhere division when he was 6-1 and do not expect that generous price here but we may get more than a smidgeon of it considering his competitors will suck in some dough. To his right in post 2 is Stealth Bomber, who was second (we chose him) to an opportunistic Macs Jackpot (who is here in post 4). Those two will attract bettors, as will Normandy Beach with the Burke-Gingras team in post 3. None of them, of course, made the final, but that doesn’t change our analysis. Plus, we warn you about Beyond Delight, who at a larger price than all mentioned, could play a major role in the exotics.


The $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup complements the Cup program, inviting 10 older pacers to the evening’s show. The buzz horse here is Dr J Hanover, who was fortunate to chase some speedy duelists and save enough ground to break a record. The mark will attract bettors who did not back “Dr J” in his record performance, even though he is unlikely to ever go that fast again without similar conditions.

Those conditions should not be present in the Mohawk Gold Cup. None of the other five responsible for the cover Dr J needed are here. In fact, this mile may offer a good price on one of the better miles of late from Takter’s Great Vintage. He lost to Mcwicked, who leaves from post 1 here, by a head after a slight, early duel with Nirvana Seelster on June 3 as the second choice. “Nirvana” came back the following week and won the Preferred at 8-1 with “Vintage” absent. This could add up to a decent price on Vintage, as well as a strong, speedy mile that is earned, not gifted—hopefully the gift will be the winning price.


By names (check program for post positions) and by legs, here are our suggested tickets for the trio of Pick 4s available on the Cup program. Stakes events include top suggested contenders as above.

RACES 4 through 7
R4) Regal Son, Daylight Rush
R5) Great Vintage
R6) Hurricane Beach
R7) Traceur Hanover, Dinner At The Met

RACES 9 through 12
R9) Agent Q
R10) Shake It Off Lindy, Guardian Angel AS
R11) Call Me Queen Be
R12) Fear The Dragon

RACES 12 through 15
R12) Fear The Dragon
R13) Mohawk Warrior
R14) Rockin Wizard, First Car

R15) Ideal Jet, Windsong Lightning


Two-year-old races at the beginning of each season are the most difficult events for handicappers to forecast winners, no less value. Every season’s start for us means extra work on sire productivity, so we can make wise wagers in freshman races. If you handicap the races below, be sure to respect those listed as contenders.

Hawthorne, June 15: Race 2, Angel Dance

Hawthorne, June 16: Race 2, Fox Valley Euforic; R4, JBs Shooting Star

H2W Legend

Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.


6/16/17, Sun Catcher R4; Miss Paula D R8

6/17/17, Maradona R7; Outoftexas R11

6/17/17, Skade R4

6/15/17, Shes A Caravore R1

6/16/17, +Pancetta R12
6/17/17, Real Sheila R10

6/15/17, Rock Proof R6; Dali Special R8

6/16/17, +Evelyn R1; Venus Delight R7

6/17/17, +Sandbetweenurtoes R8

6/15/17, TKRs Metrospecs R1

6/17/17, Exhibitionist R11; +Res Miss Amy R16
6/19/17, Miss Explosion R1

6/18/17, Southwind Serenity R4; +Rockin Romeo R6; +Whitesville Liz R11

6/15/17, Fusion Power R2; Lightning Storm R6
6/16/17, +Smart Zone R10

6/16/17, Tumblin Dice R2; Silvio Dante R6

6/17/17, Next Success R8

6/15/17, Shady Jack R5; Majo Lou Beka R7

Running Aces
6/17/17, +Mucho Macho Man R3; +Al Mar Foxyeclipse R7

6/15/17, +Whitemountainmoxie R5
6/17/17, Lone Survivor R8

6/15/17, Roman Conqueror R4
6/17/17, +Vermillion Bird R1; Western R10
6/18/17, Glow Again R4; Cruzin Maverick R6

6/15/17, Hickory Little Red R7
6/16/17, Consolidator R5
6/17/17, I’m Gorgeous R8

6/16/17, +Rockin Show R3; +Iaquinta R3