Pebble Beach shored up his impressive stat sheet in taking the first of two eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night. The sophomore son of Downbytheseaside-Santa Rosa, trained by Noel Daley, was in full flight down the stretch in a 1:49.4 mile.
It was a pair of longshots, 44-1 Market Based and 22-1 Frozen Hanover, who held down the top-two positions as the group of nine arrived at the first turn. At the quarter, reached in :27.0, Market Based led Frozen Hanover by 1 ¾-lengths with Night Hawk, second choice on the tote board, and Pebble Beach, the mutuel choice, following in third and fourth, respectively.
David Miller popped Night Hawk to the outside and the duo struck front just before the half reached in :55.1. Trevor McCarthy bided his time with Pebble Beach, sitting fourth as the field approached the turn for home. Night Hawk, still calling the shots after three-quarters in 1:23.1, braced for the challenge of Pebble Beach, who came calling quickly to the outside.
On top by a head at Ken Middleton’s stretch call, Pebble Beach crossed the wire a 1 ½-length winner. Night Hawk easily held for second, with Mad Max Hanover, Frozen Hanover and Kolby Two Step rounding out the top five, to punch their ticket to the $1 million final.
“That trip wasn’t his go there on front last week, but it worked out like that,” said McCarthy. “But I was really happy with the way that he did it. Even being first over there tonight, I was first over there, way out, and I was a little concerned about it. But he handled himself really well and when I asked him at the top of the lane, he had plenty left.”
It was the ninth win in 14 starts for Pebble Beach, who is owned by Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, Country Club Acres Inc., and Laexpressfoderadeovolente.
Bred by Brittany Farms LLC, the bay, an $85,000 purchase at the 2020 Lexington Select Sale, came into his elimination engagement off a 2 ¾-length triumph in one of two Somebeachsomewhere divisions on June 4 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Owner of a 1:48.4 speed badge, Pebble Beach paid $3.90 for the victory.
“He’s such a cool horse to be around and he’s got a lot of characteristics and he’s a lot of fun to drive,” praised McCarthy. “So full credit to Noel and the team. They’re doing a terrific job with him and he’s a lot of fun to sit behind right now.”
In the second elimination, Beach Glass, the 4-5 choice, wasn’t hindered by his outside post enroute to an impressive score in 1:51.0.
I Did It Myway, with Tim Tetrick in the race bike, blasted off the gate to secure the lead into the first turn as Beach Glass, in rein to Yannick Gingras, was also in motion early, crossing over from post eight to engage the pacesetter through an opening split of :26.3.
Gingras, who took over driving duties of the son of Somebeachsomewhere from Paul MacDonell, then powered to his charge to the front and guided their seven rivals through a half in :55.2, as I Did It MyWay sat second, with Magical Arthur third and Early Action fourth.
Beach Glass was still full of vigor on the front end, reaching three quarters in 1:23.3, and 1 ¾-lengths clear at the stretch call, as I Did It Myway attempted to reel in the leader, and a rallying Ario Hanover began to pick up steam to the outside.
At the wire, Beach Glass, trained by Brent MacGrath, recorded a three-quarter length victory in a time of 1:51.0. I Did It Myway was second, a half-length in front of Ario Hanover. Ron took fourth, and Fourever Boy was next across the line, as that top five moved on to next Saturday’s $1 million final.
A lightly-raced colt – tonight was just his seventh career start and second of the year – Beach Glass is bred and owned by Schooner II Stable out of Truro, Nova Scotia.
“He was good,” offered MacGrath. “He’s a very green horse. Yannick said he was waiting on the horses a little bit, and he had to shake him up. We were feeling that was happening in the last couple of starts. He really needed this race bad and he needed to get stretched out like he did there tonight and woke up a little bit.
“I told Yannick a little bit about that, that he would fire up quickly and then settle down. He’s got the open bridle on him, he’s seeing a bunch of stuff; seeing the tote board lit up, it’s different, all those things are different for him. We’re happy we geared him up the way we did, that might have made him and Yannick a little uncomfortable for a second, but it worked out good. He could relax good on the front end and got a quarter in :28.4. Whenever you end up getting on the muscle and aggressive, you could pace that quarter probably in :27.4 and it might have been somebody else standing here.”
MacGrath, the man who campaigned the brilliant Somebeachsomewhere, is hopeful his bay colt, now a four-time winner, will be even better next Saturday night.
“I was very happy with him. He needed that race. That’s only his seventh lifetime start. Those colts that raced there tonight have 20 starts a lot of them. He’ll be a different horse, I believe, next week.”
The 39th edition of the Pepsi North America Cup is set for Saturday, June 18, at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The post position draw will take place on Tuesday, June 14 and will be streamed on https://woodbine.com/mohawk/.
Woodbine Communications, by Chris Lomon