CAMPBELLVILLE, June 10 – Winning was a breeze for Downbytheseaside in the first of three $50,000 eliminations for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.
Downbytheseaside and driver David Miller got away fifth as Sports Column marched his way to the early lead, pacing past the first quarter in :27. Into the backstretch, Lawrencetown Beach, who was fourth on the rail, was first to make a bid for the front. Downbytheseaside followed. Lawrencetown Beach took command before the midway point, but a looming Downbytheseaside snatched the lead at the half in :54.4. Once the Brian Brown trainee cleared, he started to pull away from his seven rivals.
Ultimately, no one could catch the 1-9 favourite. He cruised by the three-quarter pole in 1:21.4 and crossed the wire first by two lengths in 1:50.4. Western Hill and Sports Column rallied for second and third respectively.
"I don’t think he was at his best tonight for whatever reason, but I’ve seen him better," said Miller. "[The wind] could be playing a factor. You’re leaving into it and you’re finishing into it and it might have something to do with it.
"He was a pretty solid horse last year and got better as the year went on, which is unusual,” the reinsman added. “He came back this year and we can’t be happier with him. Just tonight, I wouldn’t say he was at his best."
Downbytheseaside remains unbeaten as a three-year-old with four victories from four outings. He notched his 12th lifetime victory in 17 starts. With the win, the son of Somebeachsomewhere and Sprig Hanover lifts his career earnings to $858,616 for owners Country Club Acres Inc, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, Diamond Creek Racing.
The top three finishers from each elimination along with one fourth-place finisher drawn by lot will advance to the final on Saturday, June 17 at Mohawk.
Downbytheseaside paid $2.10 to win and place, combining with Western Hill ($8.40) for a $19.80 (4-3) exactor. A 4-3-7 (Sports Column) triactor was worth $254.60, while a $1 superfecta [4-3-7-5 (Some Attitude)] returned $670.55. There was no show wagering.
The remaining two Pepsi North America Cup eliminations are slated for races eight and nine on Saturday’s card.
More to come…