NA Cup Leads Caravan of Grand Circuit Stakes

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

August 26th, 2020

Canada hosts the Grand Circuit this upcoming weekend, where Woodbine/Mohawk (WoMo) presents a parade of stakes orbiting the $1-million North America Cup. We supplement the action with our horses-to-watch list (H2W) for wins, places, shows and participating exotic-wagering elements.


A pair of $30k elims are on the Aug. 28 WoMo program, bringing out a few of the Hambletonian’s cast and then some. As we always give an edge to those from the August classic, the first elim should focus upon Capricornus and Threefiftytwo.

The latter was unknown until entering the Hambo, and then enough bets came in to be recognized and the public was correct; he made the final. Capricornus has been a bit of a disappointment at three. Still, he comes from the Marcus Melander stable and will be facing far less than his former foes.

There are more good times for the sophs in elim two, except most of them are expected to embrace Ready For Moni. He is sharp now and ready to roar into the final. The only other Hambo character, though, is Hollywood Story and he should be respected since he made the classic’s final and all of that field is experiencing some success against lesser in the division.


For the glamour-girl trotters, Aug. 28 at WoMo also offers two $81k divisions of the Casual Breeze. Six are at the gate for the first split, where Sorella gets a chance to redeem herself from the debilitating break last week. On her best behavior, she wins, but the threat from Dip Me Hanover looms boldly. In the end, those two favorites may equal the exacta, which the bettor must decide on the value.

Chapter two could be a more pleasing risk. The competition is difficult to gauge. ML favorite Warrawee Vicky gets Lasix but it is not why she is favored; she sticks out a bit against these. The Baillargeon barn is still in the stream of a great season, so McKees Angel could race far better than her odds, and both could wind up with worthy odds against Modern Mass.

WoMo, Aug. 29


Ten soph-filly pacers earned there way into this $400k event, but one has gotten all of the headlines. Party Hill Girl is having a sterling season leading the division and no doubt will take the biggest share of the win pool as the prohibitive favorite. How can anyone make an argument for any other filly? You just do it.

Racing better than her odds to this point, Lady Lou has been able to stalk the better gals in the division, hitting the board when the crowd dismissed her. She should be in the mix here and it would be no surprise if she handed Party a surprise defeat.


Mare pacers went straight to a final for the $290k Roses Are Red, with nine at the gate. The return of Warrawee Ubeaut certainly may develop into a headline since her soph career has not lived up to expectations. She hardly put a foot down in the Artiscape at Tioga, finishing seventh behind horses she handled well last season.

On Lasix, Tony Alagna’s Seaswift Joy N has accomplished much in top stakes, including some difficult four-mile action at Yonkers (the Matchmakers, on the COVID-19-cancellation list this season). With highly favored Kissin In The Sand leaving from post 9, most likely with jet-propulsion speed to get a good early position or take the engine role in an attempt to wire the gals, Seaswift Joy N should be up there early, taking a ground-saving spot to fire when others tire.


Mare trotters take off in this $220k event with the obvious huge choice being Atlanta. The Hambo-winning veteran takes on some top figures in her division after losing to Gimpanzee, which is no embarrassment as a mare or a horse.

Meanwhile, Ake Svanstedt sends a pair of femmes to post. Plunge Blue Chip is the best known and has come around again after a slow start this season. She is another defeater of Manchego, winning the Joie De Vie. Oddly enough, the other Svanstedt mare in this field, Felicityshagwell (yup, that’s what her name means) finished second in the Joie De Vie field—at 63-1. As well as Manchego in that event, the pair beat When Dovescry, the other Manchego defeater.

When Dovescry and Manchego did not travel over the border for this affair, making it look as if Plunge Blue Chip can go at Atlanta, even though Atlanta should be a crack sharper with no men in the mix. Hopefully, she will still be the favorite, putting some thick numbers on the Ake duet—especially Felicityshagwell, who may endure a tougher trip to be in the exotics or blow out the board and win.


Nancy Takter’s Tall Dark Stranger has been on a fast and furious journey to this event, which any other year would have been earlier with fewer heated miles behind him. At August’s end, “Stranger” is no stranger to the likes of his glamour-boy foes in the 2020 North America Cup field at WoMo on Aug. 29, but the seven-digits on the line this time are the most coveted for the division. We can only admit Stranger is the best in the glamour-boy division and he will do his best to live up to that status again.

The upset scenario is the usual, the weight of fiery fractions tire those shuffling, dueling and from behind, without a chance in most other scenarios, comes (you name him) rolling by his betters to a speed-badge victory like he will never see again. That scenario is possible with the fast-footed ingredient of Allywag Hanover leaving from post 8 and any challenges for the lead or best position by Captain Kirk, Capt Midnight and/or Tony Alagna’s third entry, Captain Barbossa, leaving from post 9.

A wicked half brings a scorching third panel and whom so ever has been sucked along may take the honors. In that improbable situation, we would be holding a win ticket for Tatoo Artist, and we would look very smart, having forecast the situation leading to a longshot winner. In fact, we would just be lucky. We have done it before and will probably do it again; we just do not know if this race is that next time.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and confirm the wagers available at the prescribed track. H2W offers possible contenders researched from reviewing races. Horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track with the date of their race and the race number (R6 ) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name, it appears on the list for the second time (horses are listed twice only if, at first, they failed to win. An “ae” signals also-eligible. Types of wagers to make are based on your judgment.


8/29/20, +Trisun R11; +One Step Up R12

8/28/20, Duck N Roll R1; Chuppah On R3

8/27/20, Just Wanna Roll R5; +Brooklets Desire R6; Sassy Cindy R13
8/28/20, Skyway Victor R11

8/29/20, Lous Pearlman R11

8/29/20, +Stay In Your Place R13

8/28/20, +Miss Explosion R4; +Peter Previte R5; Haulin Cash R7; Santin R10
8/29/20, Dante Seelster R6; +The Last Shark R13

8/27/20, +Goodygoodytwoshoes R9
8/28/20, Majestos R10

8/27/20, Evening Stroll R6; Pub Crawl R8

8/27/20, Age Is A Number R5
8/31/20, Burkes Bandit R6

8/29/20, Beguin Dugoutier F R3; Highland Dynamite R 13
8/30/20, Repeal Or Replace

Running Aces
8/29/20, +Gitchie Girl R3; +Lincoln R9

8/27/20, Tiffany Rocks AS R13
8/29/20, +Tookadiveoffdipper R3; McMoe R14

8/28/20, Sexy Blue Chip R10; Make My Deo R12

8/29/20, Voelz Delight R1; Caviart Audrey R2; Island Beach Boy R9

8/28/20, +Titanium N R4; +Zoeez Boy Henry R4; Elwell R5