CAMPBELLVILLE, March 3 – Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced that 60 three-year-old pacers have been nominated to the 34th edition of the Pepsi North America Cup.
The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, Canada’s richest harness race, will take place on Saturday, June 17 at Mohawk Racetrack. The eliminations will be held a week prior.
Headlining the group of 60 eligible three-year-olds is Ray Schnittker trainee Huntsville and Brian Brown trainee Downbytheseaside.
A fantastic rivalry developed over the course of 2016 between Huntsville and Downbytheseaside. The Schnittker trainee held a slight advantage in earnings and awards, but the Brown trainee got the last laugh on the racetrack with a dominant victory over his rival in the $520,000 Governor’s Cup at Woodbine.
Huntsville finished his rookie campaign with seven wins and four runner-up finishes in 11 starts for earnings of $720,234. The Schnittker trained colt’s list of accomplishments includes the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) Championship, Breeders Crown final and the Dan Patch Award as U.S Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year.
Downbytheseaside made 13 starts in his two-year-old season and finished with eight wins, three seconds and a pair of third-place finishes for earnings of $644,706. The Brown trained colt won multiple Grand Circuit events, including the Governor’s Cup, and finished second in both the PASS Championship and Breeders Crown.
Huntsville and Downbytheseaside are both sired by 2008 Pepsi North America Cup champion Somebeachsomewhere and both left their mark on the World Record book as two-year-olds.
Downbytheseaside set a World Record of 1:50 over the half-mile track at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in September, while also equaling the mile-track World Record of 1:49 in October at The Red Mile.
On the same day Downbytheseaside blazed around the famed red clay oval, Huntsville also turned in a World Record equaling performance of 1:49 at the Lexington track.
Huntsville won three of the five meetings against his rival during 2016, while Downbytheseaside won the other two.
Metro Pace champion Beyond Delight is also on the list of eligible three-year-olds to this year’s Pepsi North America Cup.
The Tony O’Sullivan trainee won three of 11 starts last season and earned $423,305. Beyond Delight picked up all three of his rookie victories in consecutive weeks by sweeping the Metro Pace and capturing a division of the Champlain Stakes.
The last Metro Pace winner to also win the Pepsi North America Cup was Captaintreacherous in 2013.
Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Super Final champion Arsenal Seelster and OSS standout Streakavana are two of 11 Ontario sired three-year-old pacers eligible to this year’s Cup.
Nominations to the 2017 Pepsi North America Cup were up over last year’s nomination total of 58.
A total of three sustaining payments are required to remain eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup. The first sustaining payment ($1,000 – $715 USD) is due Wednesday, March 15. The final two payments are due April 15 and May 15.
Below is the full list of eligible three-year-old pacers to this year’s Pepsi North America Cup.
BECKHAMS Z TAM
DIAL THE BOSSMAN
FEAR THE DRAGON
HENRY THE DRAGON
LYONS WELSH PRIDE
ODDS ON DELRAY
OZONE BLUE CHIP
PASSPORT TO ART
R J P
ROCK IT SCOTT
ROCK THIS WAY
THREE MORE SMILES
TWIN B COWBOY
WHO SAID NOT TO
YOUNG DRUNK PUNK
Total horses nominated – 60