CAMPBELLVILLE, May 8 – With the Pepsi North America Cup 40 days away, 11 eligible three-year-olds made a stop by Mohawk Racetrack to qualify on Monday morning.
The Pepsi North America Cup eligible horses competed over the course of three different qualifying races on Monday. The qualifiers were raced under sunny skies, but a stiff wind and ‘Good’ racing surface still recovering from multiple days of rain allowed for a two-second variant.
The first qualifier of the morning saw Cup eligible Ideal Wheel turn in the fastest mile of the day, with a 1:53.4 victory. The Casie Coleman trainee got away fourth with driver Jonathan Drury and sat there until the far turn before getting involved.
Cup eligible Mc Mach set solid fractions on the lead and led the field by three-quarters in 1:24.3. Ideal Wheel, who was third and a few lengths from the leader turning for home, was able to track down Mc Mach in the lane and surged by with a final-quarter of :28.1 to score a four-length victory.
Bob McIntosh trainee Mc Mach, who was the only other Cup eligible in the field, held on for second.
A son of American Ideal, Ideal Wheel was qualifying for the first time as a three-year-old after winning three of six and banking $157,505 as a rookie.
The ninth qualifier of the morning saw five Cup eligible three-year-olds competing.
Blake MacIntosh trainee Sports Column was a little hesitant moving into the first turn for driver Chris Christoforou, but once he cleared to command entering the backstretch, it was game over.
The son of Sportswriter posted fractions of :58 and 1:27, before firing home in :28.2 to score a comfortable three-length victory in 1:55.2.
Cup eligible Streakavana, who was the leader at the opening-quarter, held his position to finish second for trainer Scott McEneny. Patrick Shepherd trainee Western Hill, who is also eligible to the Cup, rounded out the top three finishers.
Tony O’Sullivan trainee Calvin K was fifth, while McEneny’s Bettors Dream was seventh to round out the Cup eligible three-year-olds in the field.
Sports Column’s two-year-old season was brief, but the Ontario sired colt made an impact. The MacIntosh trainee won four of six starts, including the Battle of Waterloo, for earnings of $222,000.
The 11th qualifier featured the final four Cup eligible three-year-olds of the day.
Metro Pace champion Beyond Delight held off fellow-Cup eligible Some Attitude to win by a head in 1:56. Sylvain Filion drove the Tony O’Sullivan trainee to victory.
Beyond Delight capitalized off a two-hole trip to score the victory by angling out at the top of the stretch and pacing a final-quarter of :29.3. McIntosh trainee Some Attitude rallied with a :28.4 final-quarter to come up just short.
The other two Cup horses in the field, Bill Robinson’s Three More Smiles and Shepherd’s Richard Hill, finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
A son of Bettors Delight, Beyond Delight won three of 11 starts as a rookie, including the Metro Pace and Champlain Stakes, for earnings of over $400,000. The O’Sullivan trainee was making his first qualifying appearance of the season Monday.
Almost all of the 53 Pepsi North America Cup eligible three-year-olds have now qualified this season and connections have until May 15 to make a decision on submitting the final sustaining payment.
Also on Monday, older pacing star Shamballa won his qualifier by more than eight-lengths in 1:55.1 for trainer/driver Rick Zeron. The seven-year-old, who’s won more than $900,000 in his career, has now qualified twice this season.
Zeron’s barn also sent out three-year-old trotting gelding Mass Production. Last year’s Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final champion went gate-to-wire for a 1:57.2 score.
Other winner’s Monday morning included Preferred trotter Lookslikeachpndale, OSS standout Tycoon Seelster and Breeders Crown finalist Cameron Hill.
Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk. Post time for the 10-race card is 7:30 p.m.