Mohawk offers solid Saturday night card

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Ted Black

June 7th, 2018

Not long after thoroughbred racing fans have had the chance to digest the results of Saturday's 150th Belmont Stakes as Justify seeks to become the sport's 13th Triple Crown winner on the latter portion of a stellar, stakes-filled card, harness racing enthusiasts will quickly turn their attention to the action at Mohawk Raceway in Canada as the seven-eighths mile oval also shines the spotlight on three-year-olds.

Saturday night's card at Mohawk will feature three eliminations for the North America Cup for three-year-old colt pacers, one of the sport's first genuine Grade I races of the season and it will also offer elims for both the Fan Hanover Stakes for three-year-old filly pacers and the Roses Are Red for pacing fillies and mares. Several horses already in the National Top 10 poll are competing on the card and several more could join the list with good performances in the elims and next week's finals.

Well before the midway point of the card, Mohawk will offer the first of three elims for the North America Cup. Among the serious contenders in this deep group includes Hayden Hanover, Summer Travel, Stay Hungry, Done Well, Rootin Tootin, Grand Teton and Captain Deo. Done Well won his sophomore debut and is unbeaten in five lifetime tries, while Captain Deo has won once in three tries this year and two of seven overall. Both Summer Travel and Rootin Tootin are Maryland-breds looking to reach the seven-figure final.

One race later on the card in  another deep North America Cup elim, Sometimesawinner, Wes Delight, Burning Midnight, American History, Dorsoduro Hanover and Nutcracker Sweet will all look to earn a spot in the final. Sometimesawinner has won four of seven starts this year and seven of 12 overall, Wes Delight has won four of five seasonal outings, while Dorsoduro Hanover has won all three of his starts this year. Burning Midnight posted a 28-1 shocker last week, while American History arrives off a stirring 1:49.1 score last weekend and could be the most talented colt in this event.

Then several races later in the third North America Cup elim, Lather Up arrives as a rising star for "Team Teague", having won all four of his starts this year for owner-breeders Gary & Barbara Iles. Venom has won three of five starts this year, while Lost In Time has been second in each of his seasonal outings but owns five wins and earnings of over $700,000 from 11 career tries. Hitman Hill has the ability to earn a spot in the final, while Maryland-bred Courtly Choice will look to join Summer Travel and Rootin Tootin in the seven-figure finale.

Mohawk will also offer two elims for the Fan Hanover stakes for three-year-old filly pacers. In the opening split, Reign On Me, Sudden Passing and Jan, a winner of all three of her starts this year and six of 12 lifetime, loom the most likely to advance. In the second division midway on the card, most of the attention will be on Youaremycandygirl, who has won once in two starts this year and 10 times in 13 career tries with earnings rapidly approaching $1 million. Percy Blue Chip has won both of her starts this year and seven of 11 overall. I'm Trigger Happy has won twice in three starts this year and six of nine lifetime, while Kissin In The Sand was second in her seasonal debut but sports seven wins and $260,000 banked from 15 career tries.

Saturday's two Roses Are Red elims offer plenty of distaff power. In the opening split just past the midway point of the card, Shartin N, currently second in the National Top 10 poll, has won 10 of 12 starts for trainer Jim King, Jr., and faces the likes of LA Delight, Blazin Britches, Blue Moon Stride, Agent Q, Clear Idea and Twinkle, the last three ladies on the list are all Maryland-breds. In the second Roses Are Red elim later, Nike Franco N, Pure Country, Caviart Ally, Tequila Monday and Button Up will seek to earn a berth in the final. Pure Country already boasts three different division titles for trainer Jimmy Takter, while Maryland-bred Tequila Monday arrives off a sharp score at Pocono Downs.