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Big Bad John named $1.5 mil NA Cup favorite

June 14, 2011
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Post positions were drawn Tuesday afternoon for Saturday night's $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack, with the connections of the three elimination winners--Powerful Mist, Big Bad John and Up The Credit--getting to choose their posts. When the dust settled, arguably the five leading contenders will start from the inside five posts, with Big Bad John named the 2-1 morning-line favorite.
 
Trainer Wayne Givens was given the first opportunity to pick his starting spot for Powerful Mist and he chose post three for his colt whose 1:50.2 effort was the fastest of the three elims. Although Tim Tetrick was in the sulky for the win, he has opted off and instead will drive Shadyshark Hanover--who finished second in his respective elim--in the final. GIvens has since named David Miller to drive Powerful Mist.
 
Driver Brett Miller then chose post four for Big Bad John, who is now undefeated in four starts this year after his 1:50.3 elim victory, followed by driver Jody Jamieson taking post two for Up The Credit, who scored a 1:50.4 elim win. The open draw among the other seven starters was then held and things didn't turn out too badly for pre-race favorite Big Jim, the 2010 Horse of the Year in Canada who finished third in his elim, as he drew post one, while top contender Shadyshark Hanover landed post five.
 
Toronto Maple Leaf defenseman Luke Shenn was the guest drawmaster at the function held at Mohawk Racetrack. The draw was presided over by track announcer Ken Middleton, and he asked Miller how good Big Bad John was in his elim victory. "The colt took care of himself...when the horses got up to him he took off again. He has a big heart and he tries to not let horses pass him," Miller answered.
 
That final comment just a few minutes later evoked a response from Jamieson: "Brett said his horse doesn't like to get passed, I hope he doesn't mind on Saturday." Although Jamieson was the third to pick his post for Up The Credit, he was thrilled with the two hole, noting that it was the same starting spot he chose for the 2007 NA Cup winner Tell All. "The two hole is the best spot here," remarked Jamieson.
 
The NA Cup is slated as the seventh race on Saturday night's card at Mohawk, with a scheduled post time of 9:40 p.m. Also on the card are the finals of the Goodtimes 3-Year-Old Colt Trot, the Fan Hanover 3-Year-Old Filly Pace and the Elegantimage 3-Year-Old Filly Trot.
 
Here is the complete draw for Saturday's North America Cup, with listed driver:
 
PP  Horse (driver) Morning Line
1 Big Jim (Phil Hudon) 7-1
2 Up The Credit (Jody Jamieson) 5-2
3 Powerful Mist (David Miller) 6-1
4 Big Bad John (Brett Miller) 2-1
5 Shadyshark Hanover (Tim Tetrick) 5-1
6 Rockabillie (Brian Sears) 15-1
7 Roll With Joe (Randy Waples) 8-1
8 Eighteen (Paul MacDonell) 25-1
9 Dutch Richman (Scott Zeron) 20-1
10 Foreclosure N (Sylvain Filion) 25-1
 
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