Stars shine in sizzling Mohawk qualifiers
May 08, 2015
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The sizzling temperature and the notables on track made Friday morning's 13-race qualifying session at Mohawk Racetrack feel like the heart of summer.
There was plenty of power that stepped out onto the Campbellville oval Friday, including several Pepsi North America Cup eligibles, a past N.A. Cup winner and eventual Breeders Crown champion and a Maple Leaf Trot winner.
The temperature was climbing into the high 20's (Celsius) throughout the qualifying session over a "fast" Mohawk strip. Many eyes were on the Pepsi North America Cup eligibles Friday morning as Canada's richest harness race is just six weeks away.
In the fifth qualifier, Cup-eligible Pierce Hanover went gate to wire to win in an impressive 1:51.4. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Pierce Hanover cut fractions of :28.2, :57.2 and 1:24.4 before cruising home in :27.
A son of Cam's Card Shark, Pierce Hanover was making his third qualifying appearance of the season for trainer Ken Sucee. He's listed at 22-1 in the Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book.
Meanwhile, Go Daddy Go, last year's Battle Of Waterloo champion, was making his first appearance of the season in the fifth qualifier. The Bob McIntosh trainee finished fifth and was individually timed in 1:54.3. Listed at 14-1 in the Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book, the son of Ponder was driven by Randy Waples and paced his last quarter in :27.4.
The next N.A. Cup eligible to qualify came in the 11th qualifier, as last season's Ontario Sires Stakes champion Reverend Hanover turned in his second charted line of the season.
Driven by Chris Christoforou for trainer Casie Coleman, Reverend Hanover got away early in second, but quickly circled around stablemate Bob Ben And John to take the lead in the second-quarter and reach the half in :57.1. After taking the field down to the three-quarter pole in 1:25.2, Reverend Hanover paced home in :27.2 to win the qualifier in 1:52.4. Bob Ben And John finished right up alongside Reverend Hanover and was only beat half a length.
A son of Sportswriter, Reverend Hanover won his first qualifier of the season last week in 1:54.3. He's the second choice in the Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book at 5-1.
All three of the North America Cup eligibles that qualified Friday morning are also eligible to the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes on June 6 at Mohawk.
Go Daddy Go was not the only McIntosh trainee to resurface Friday morning, as Thinking Out Loud, the 2012 Pepsi North America Cup champion and last year's Breeders Crown champion, made his first appearance of 2015.
The 6-year-old son of Ponder went gate-to-wire to win his first qualifier of the season in 1:52.1. Driven by Waples, Thinking Out Loud hung up fractions of :28, :56.3 and 1:24 before pacing home in :28.1.
Four-year-old pacer Winds Of Change finished a good second behind Thinking Out Loud in his debut for new trainer Dustin Jones. Winds Of Change was beat 1 3/4 lengths and paced his mile in 1:52.4.
Vegas Vacation was another older pacer to turn in a solid qualifier Friday. The Coleman trainee was making his second qualifying appearance of the season and was victorious in 1:55. Driven by Jonathan Drury, the 5 year old had to go three wide around the final turn and was able to pace home in a flashy :26 to win.
As for older trotters, last year's Maple Leaf Trot champion Intimidate made his return Friday. A 6-year-old son of Justice Hall, Intimidate was driven by Rick Zeron for trainer Luc Blais.
Intimidate finished fifth, beaten by 3 3/4 lengths, but trotted his mile in 1:56.2 with a sharp :27.1 final quarter.
Another notable to qualify Friday morning was Ontario Sires Stakes champion Danielle Hall. The 3-year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe won her qualifier in 1:55.1 for the driver/trainer combination of Jody and Carl Jamieson. Danielle Hall was making her second appearance of the season and trotted home :28.1 for the victory. (SC)