Road to the NA Cup – Week 4 (August 7, 2020)

August 7, 2020

MILTON, August 7, 2020 – The 37th edition of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup is just a few weeks away. Mark McKelvie returns with his ‘Road to the Pepsi North America Cup’ rankings for the first week of August.

ROAD TO THE PEPSI NORTH AMERICA CUP – WEEK 4 RANKINGS

  1. Tall Dark Stranger (Last Week: 1)
    Owner(s): Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms & Howard Taylor
    Trainer: Nancy Takter
    Driver: Yannick Gingras

Suffered his first loss of the season last Saturday. Had a few obstacles in his way, including post position ten and despite that finished fourth by just over a length, pacing home in :26. Trainer Takter reported that the Meadowlands Pace champion bled in that start and will now race on Lasix this Saturday in the Cane Pace.

  1. Tattoo Artist (Last Week: 2)
    Owner(s): Frank Cannon & Let It Ride Stables
    Trainer: Dr. Ian Moore
    Driver: Bob McClure

The Dr. Ian Moore trainee was not in action last week and is not entered to race this weekend. He’s currently riding an impressive four-race win streak.

  1. Beaumond Hanover (Last Week: 4)
    Owner(s): Jack Darling Stables
    Trainer: Jack Darling
    Driver: Jody Jamieson

Just like Tattoo Artist, ‘Beaumond’ did not race last week and is not entered this weekend. He too is on a heater, having won three in a row.

  1. Allywag Hanover (Last Week: 3)
    Owner(s): Allywag Stable
    Trainer: Brett Pelling
    Driver: Tim Tetrick

Finished second in last Saturday’s Geers. Moves away from Grand Circuit competition for his next start, as he’ll return to the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes scene for a contest Tuesday at Pocono.

  1. Catch The Fire (Last Week: 6)
    Owner(s): Ct Stables
    Trainer: John Ackley
    Driver: Mike Wilder

Delivered his trainer John Ackley and driver Mike Wilder a career highlight with a game effort to win the Adios last Saturday at The Meadows. We’ve noted in past rankings that he might not be getting the respect he deserves, but that’s no longer the case.

  1. Captain Kirk (Last Week: Honourable Mention)
    Owner(s): Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant & Captain Kirk Racing
    Trainer: Tony Alagna
    Driver: Joe Bongiorno

Returns to the Top-10 after a super performance in the Geers Stakes. The Tony Alagna trainee made the front from post-eight and just kept on rolling, fighting off middle-half pressure and finishing the job for a career-best 1:48.3 victory. That effort plus his Meadowlands Pace elimination runner-up finish are two miles that stand out.

  1. The Greek Freak (Last Week: 5)
    Owner(s): Burke Racing, Piatt Racing, JandT Silva Purnel & Libb
    Trainer: Ron Burke
    Driver: Matt Kakaley

Saw his win streak snapped when he crossed the line fourth in a blanket finish to the Adios. His record for the season now sits at four wins, a second and fourth in six starts. The Ron Burke trainee heads to Pocono for a PASS event on Tuesday.

  1. Capt Midnight (Last Week: 7)
    Owner(s): Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant & Capt Midnight Racing
    Trainer: Tony Alagna
    Driver: Andrew McCarthy

Came up just a length and a quarter short in the Adios, but unfortunately that was only good enough for a sixth-place finish. He’ll continue to be in the hunt for the major prizes and next up tries the Cane Pace this Saturday at The Meadowlands.

  1. Groovy Joe (Last Week: 8)
    Owner(s): Hutt Racing Stable, Blake MacIntosh, Ozzie MacKay & Hoofbid Racing
    Trainer: Blake MacIntosh
    Driver: Matt Kakaley

The Blake MacIntosh trainee had last week off, as next up he heads to Batavia for a New York Sires Stakes event this Sunday.

  1. Beach Blanket Book (Last Week: 9)
    Owner(s): Hutt Racing Stable & Mac and Heim Stables
    Trainer: Blake MacIntosh
    Driver: Doug McNair

Just like his stablemate, Beach Blanket Book did not compete last week. He returns to action this Saturday at Mohawk Park in a Non-Winners of 6 contest.

HONOURABLE MENTION:

Captain Nemo (Last Week: Not Ranked)
Owner(s): Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant, Captain Kirk Racing
Trainer: Tony Alagna
Driver: Tim Tetrick

Made his 2020 debut with a strong-looking qualifier on July 31 at The Meadowlands. He finished second, under a strong-hold and right on the back of the winner. The qualifier was timed in a snappy 1:50.2. Captain Nemo saw his rookie campaign cut short following the Nassagaweya Stakes last August. The Alagna trainee finished second in all five of his two-year-old starts. He’s one to keep an eye on.

Cattlewash (Last Week: Not Ranked)
Owner(s): W J Donovan
Trainer: Ron Burke
Driver: Yannick Gingras/David Miller

Is back on the ‘Road to the NA Cup’ radar after a strong 1:51 qualifying win on July 30 at The Meadows. The Burke trainee has raced only two-times this season and both could be considered subpar efforts. Appears ready to jump back in the mix, as he’ll compete Tuesday at Pocono in the PASS.

Elver Hanover (Last Week: Honourable Mention)
Owner(s): Burke Racing Stable, Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo, JandT Silva Purnel & Libb
Trainer: Ron Burke
Driver: Chris Page

A World Champion at two, ‘Elver’ had his undefeated streak snapped on July 18 and then took a shot at the Adios. He held his own, finishing third in his elimination and fifth (beat only a length) in the final.

Indictable Hanover (Last Week: 10)
Owner(s): West Wins Stable, John Fielding & Mac Nichol
Trainer: Casie Coleman-Herlihy
Driver: Bob McClure/Jonathan Drury

‘Indictable’ did not race last week after finishing third in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold on July 25. He is not entered to race this week either.

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