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Mike Lachance celebrates his 3rd win in the North America Cup driving Bettors Delight
Kicking off Woodbine's Festival of Racing weekend was the 18th running of the Pepsi North America Cup for three year old pacing colts with a total purse of $1,148,500. 3-5 favorite Bettors Delight lived up to his name, satisfying his many backers with an explosive 4 1/2 length win over longshots Hawaiian Cowboy and Horselaughter in a career-best equalling 1:50, only 1/5 second off the stakes record set by The Panderosa in 1999. The son of 1994 winner Cam's Card Shark posted the largest margin of victory in stakes history.
Expected pacesetter Peruvian Hanover was sent straight to the front from the far outside post by driver Chris Christoforou, but after the initial quarter run in :25 2/5 he relinquished the lead to 3-1 second choice Real Desire, who held the lead down the backstretch. Real Desire ran a sizzling half mile in :53 3/5 and 3/4 in 1:22 1/5 before driver Mike Lachance made his move with Bettors Delight. From 4th place he surged to the front on the far turn and drew off down the stretch for the win. Real Desire succumbed to his fast initial fractions and faded back to ninth while Hawaiian Cowboy and Horselaughter rallied up to get second and third.
Pgm Horse Driver Win Place Show 4 Bettors Delight Lachance 3.30 2.70 2.40 6 Hawaiian Cowboy Saftic 11.60 7.10 5 Horselaughter Kerwood 9.60 Winning Time: 1:50 $2 Exacta 4-6 48.60 $2 Trifecta 4-6-5 628.90 $2 Superfecta 4-6-5-7 1544.55Results Chart
Bettors Delight all alone at the finish. Driver Mike Lachance said: "I felt really confident turning for home. He's just a complete package, this little horse. He's not a big horse, but he's got a big heart. If you want to design a horse, you would design one like him."
Bettors Delight in his winner's blanket. Trainer Scott McEneny said, "This is a big thrill, I'm so proud of this horse. He's a helluva horse. Mike gave him a perfect trip. I've been thinking about this race for a lot of years. Now we've got one. He's something special."
CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Group David Willmot presents the trophy to winning owner John Grant while Bettors Delight and driver Mike Lachance look on. Seventy-five year old owner John Grant has been in the sport for 40 years. "It's a thrill of a lifetime in this business. Mike has done a wonderful job on him and Scott has done a wonderful job getting him ready. I'm just delighted. It's a little hard on the nerves."
An hour after the North America Cup was the 26th running of the Canadian Trotting Classic, for three-year-olds, running for a purse of $1,119,250. 2.60-1 second choice SJ's Caviar beat 31-1 longshot Bionic Ballad, in a final time of 1:55 2/5. Driver/trainer Robert Blanton Jr. said "I backed off and waited for all the traffic to clear and then I went. Down the backside, it was getting a little slow so I just pulled and went. I took my time. I still had some horse left at the wire." Results Chart
North America Cup second place finisher Hawaiian Cowboy finishing just a length in front of Horselaughter.
Third place finisher Horselaughter warming up prior to the race.
A color guard of two white horses carrying the Canadian and American flags lead the post parade for the North America Cup. They also carried two Canadian flags for the Canadian Trotting Classic post parade.
Bettors Delight in the post parade.
Bettors Delight relaxing in the paddock prior to the race.
Another posed trophy shot including trainer Scott McEneny behind the trophy.
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