The 2011 Pepsi North America Cup winner Up The Credit and his stablemate Warrawee Needy, who will give trainer Carl Jamieson a rare chance at back-to-back victories in the $1.5 million race, both won qualifiers Thursday morning at Mohawk Racetrack. Both pacers won O'Brien Awards last year as divisional champions in Canada.
"He looked really good,” said trainer Carl Jamieson when asked about Warrawee Needy's 1:54 qualifying victory. "I asked Jody what he thought or how he was, and he said that he wasn't just good, he was a monster.”
Warrawee Needy, a son of E Dees Cam, cleared to the lead past the quarter for driver Jody Jamieson and never looked back to score a comfortable win by 9 1/4 lengths.
Carlco-owns Warrawee Needy, a winner of 9 from 12 starts last season with a lifetime best clocking of 1:49.4, along with breeder Dr. Mike Wilson, Tom Kyron and Floyd Marshall.
Up The Credit, who is going to do double duty this year in breeding and racing, led wire to wire from post eight to win by 3 ¼ lengths in 1:55.2 for driver Jody Jamieson.
China Pearls, last year's O'Brien Award winner as Canada's top 3-year-old filly trotter, led wire to wire to win her qualifier in 1:54.3. This was the third qualifier of the year for the 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra trained by Carman Hie and driven by Randy Waples.
Also, Whiskey Tax, runner-up in last year's Hambletonian, finished fourth in his first appearance of 2012. Jack Moiseyev was behind the 3-year-old son of Revenue for trainer Tom Durand as he posted a charted mile of 1:56.
Also qualifying Thursday was Alsace Hanover, the winner of the 2011 Adios Pace at The Meadows. Alsace Hanover finished fifth in his seasonal debut, race-timed in 1:57.1.