The North America Cup color guard
While the North America Cup featured three year old pacing colts, the undercard featured three other important stakes races for the trotters. The $601,300 Elegantimage Stakes for three-year-old fillies drew a field of ten, with Zorgwijk Emani sent off as the overwhelming 3-5 favorite, off her undefeated record so far this year.
As expected, driver Kevin Wallis sent the favorite to the front right away, with 9-1 shot Shannon Hall and 5-1 Mystical Sunshine staying with her around the first turn, through an initial quarter in 27 2/5 seconds. Typically, Zorgwijk Emani would get loose on the lead and easily cruise away to victory, but this time driver Paul Macdonell behind Mystical Sunshine decided to gamble and challenge the heavy favorite halfway through the race. Urging his filly to go around the leader, Macdonell guided Mystical Sunshine to the front at the end of the backstretch after a half mile in 56 4/5. The move obviously had an effect on Zorgwijk Emani, who broke stride on the turn and quickly plummeted out of contention as the field cruised right by her. Mystical Sunshine suddenly found herself seven lengths in front and continued on to victory in 1:54 3/5, four lengths clear of 30-1 second place finisher Tag A Victory at the line. It was another 4 lengths back to 47-1 shot Rant N Rave in third, while favored Zorgwijk Emani finished ninth.
Purse: $601,300 Distance: 1 mile, trotters
Pgm Horse Driver Win Place Show 3 Mystical Sunshine MacDonell 11.70 6.10 5.10 7 Tag A Victory Smith 25.40 11.10 10 Rant N Rave Moiseyev 11.60
The happy connections in the winner's circle. Winning driver Paul Macdonell said, "Zorgwijk Emani has just been right on a roll every since she showed up here this spring, but my filly, she's been doing her business too. She was ready to go tonight." Asked why he made his move when he did, he added, "I didn't like the pace. It was a little bit too slow. My filly was really up on the rigging pretty good at that point so I thought I'd just let her trot on. From there, it was just a breeze."
Three-year-old trotting colts took to the track in the $322,700 Goodtimes Stakes. 4-1 third choice Windsongs Legacy sat in midpack behind the early pace of 2-1 co-favorites Cash Hall and Eilean Donon, then went wide on the far turn and rallied through the lane to just get up by a nose in 1:53 3/5 over Cash Hall. It was another nose back to Eilean Donon, in a blanket finish.
Results chart Race 8
The $353,250 Armbro Flight Stakes featured older trotting fillies and mares. Even-money co-favorite Stroke Play stalked the pace through three-quarters in 1:25, then took over in the final furlong to win by 2 lengths over Windylane Hanover in 1:53 4/5. It was another 2 lengths back to 20-1 longshot Lost Lady One in third.
Results chart Race 7
Finally, three-year-old pacing colts who did not qualify for the rich North America Cup final competed in the $100,000 consolation event. 6-5 favorite Skydancer Hanover stalked the early pace of Sparkler then took over through the lane to win by a head over 61-1 longshot Town Champion in 1:51 1/5. Winning driver Daniel Dube said, "I got a two-hole trip and when I tipped at the top of the stretch, he responded and raced good. I tried to rate him and when Brian came, I let him go. I had a two-hole trip last week too, but it was a tough bunch. He raced good. He still went in 1:50."
Results chart Race 5
Back to Horse-Races.Net main page
|Want to keep up with what's new on this site?|
Sign up for my weekly newsletter here.
On the Forum: