There was some great stakes action at Mohawk last night as expected. Here is a brief recap of those races.
1st - North America Cup – Consolation II
Straight Shooting was sharp in this race. My choice, Ideal Danny got involved late and made it close.
3rd – Goodtimes Trot Final
We may have our challenger to Muscle Hill in Federal Flex. Canada’s 2yo trotter of the year picked up his second win of the year in the Goodtimes Trot (1:54.2). The only issue is he was all out to win and his connections admit he needs to step it up to beat Muscle Hill. His next start is in the Stanley Dancer Memorial at the Meadowlands. An impressive fourth tonight was Southern Rocketop. While Rocketop has been racing primarily in Illinois restricted stake races, he has shown himself capable of competing against grand circuit caliber horses.
5th – Fan Hanover Final
Not Enough upset Yellow Diamond by sitting a pocket trip in 1:50. Yellow Diamond had no excuse as the fractions went her way. Tracy Brainard was the trainer for the top three finishers for Bulletproof Enterprises.
6th - NA Cup - Consolation I
Arctic Warrior got out at the end to nail my choice, Bay of Sharks in 1:49.3. Barber Pole is obviously not the horse many though he might have been as he never was a factor in the race.
7th - NA Cup - Final
Just the kind of race you want to see; a take no prisoner race where they kept moving. Well Said won in a stakes, track and Canadian record for 3yopc of 1:48.1 (tied the all age Canadian record). Art Colony finished 2nd and after a very aggressive drive, Keep It Real finished a decent 3rd.
9th - Elegantimage - Final
Argh. I hate it when my second choice beats you. Only consolation is my first choice was not a favorite (unlike in the 12th race when my winning 27-1 second choice did far better than my 3-1 first choice). Celebrity Deville won the Elegantimage Final in 1:54.3 at 12-1. That being said, I didn't see anything in this race to indicate this is a 3yo trotting filly rising to the top of the class.
10th - Fan Hanover - Consolation
Ginger and Fred ran like an AE in a final should race. While she won by a 1/2 length she basically controlled the race from the start to win in 1:52. Based on her win this week and her close finishes behind Yellow Diamond at Pocono, it seems like Dave Palone has a live mount the rest of this year. I expect her to be a factor in the big races she may be eligible for.
Over all, with the 3yo picture remaining muddled (with the exception of the possible Federal Flex-Muscle Hill matchup), there remains plenty of great racing to be had. While we may have been spoiled last year with the exploits of Somebeachsomewhere and Deweycheatemnhowe, we may just have to console ourselves with exciting racing instead. That being said, there is still time for someone to rise above the field.