Stakes Action Heats Up Saturday At Mohawk

Published: May 31, 2022 09:34 pm EDT

T minus one week until the glamour boys line up behind the gate to determine the 10 competing in Canada’s most prestigious pacing race, the Pepsi North America Cup. With eliminations looming, many of the race’s top contenders will grace Woodbine Mohawk Park’s oval on Saturday (June 4) in two $81,000 divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes.

Division one goes as the second on the 11-race card Saturday, pitting seven in competition. Pebble Beach leads the field both in speed and money earned, hoisting a 1:48.4 mark taken at The Red Mile last August in winning the $250,000 Kentucky Championship Series as well as $366,250 banked thanks to another Lexington Grand Circuit win and a third-place finish in the Breeders Crown at The Meadowlands. Todd McCarthy will pilot the Noel Daley trainee out of post seven off a second-place finish in a conditioned race at The Meadowlands on May 21, where he clocked a mile in 1:48.1.

Pebble Beach faces six local contenders in that first division. Sport Secret starts from post two in rein to Doug McNair for trainer Gregg McNair off a second-place effort in the $122,600 SBOA Stakes. He starts just outside of trainer/driver Paul MacDonell and Chucky Hanover, who finished third in the SBOA Final. The field also includes Kolby Two Step, a Tim Gillespie trainee who finished fifth in the $225,000 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Super Final and is making his seasonal debut off two qualifiers – his most recent a 1:52.4 clocking.

The second Somebeachsomewhere split pins hometown star Stonebridge Helios against potential dynamo Beach Glass, whose connections also campaigned this stakes event's namesake. Stonebridge Helios comes in from back-to-back wins in a sweep of the SBOA Stakes and will score from post five with Bob McClure in the bike for trainer John Pentland. Beach Glass will make his first start on the year this Saturday following a less-than-ideal trip south for the Breeders Crown at The Meadowlands. The Schooner II Stables homebred qualified twice so far this year, with his most recent mile a 1:52.1 effort at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Paul MacDonell will have the seat for trainer Brent MacGrath from post two.

Just outside the two standouts starts Anthony Beaton pupil Magical Arthur, who finished runner-up in the OSS Super Final last season and is trying for his first win on the year. Trevor Henry is listed to drive the gelding from post six off a fourth-place finish in the SBOA Final a week ago.

Saturday’s undercard also features second-preliminary action for the Graduate Series. The pacing boys will go in two divisions, with the first split attracting talents including Lous Pearlman, Bulldog Hanover and Lawless Shadow and the second division gathering competitors including Highlandbeachsbest, Southwind Gendry and One Eight Hundred. The pacing mares will go in one dash in a field including Jugette winner Scarlett Hanover, Fire Start Hanover, Hot Mess Express and developing Irish talent Oakwoodanabella Ir.

The second leg of the Graduate Series Mare Trot, which was scheduled to have been raced at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday, June 3, has been cancelled due to a lack of entries. The mares that entered for the cancelled leg will be awarded a start credit and seven points toward the standings for the final as described in the stakes conditions.

OSS action will also go to gate on Saturday with a $199,900 dash for sophomore pacing fillies. The 11-horse contest features two-pronged talent from trainer Nick Gallucci in Silver Label from post 10 and Prohibition Legal from post 11. The duo are set to hook up for the first time since the OSS Super Final last season, where Prohibition Legal bested Silver Label in a 1:52.1 mile.

Free For All pacers will fight towards the tail of the evening in a $58,500 event. North America Cup champ Desperate Man returns to the scene of his greatest win off a runner-up finish in the $273,500 Charles Juravinski Memorial Cup at Flamboro Downs on May 22. He starts from post five with Trevor Henry driving for trainer Kathy Cecchin in a field including speedster Warrawee Vital, Doc Moore’s Tattoo Artist and Mohawk top-class mainstay Wheels On Fire.

Saturday’s power-packed card will start at 7 p.m. (EDT). Free past performances, courtesy of TrackIT, are available here.

To view Saturday’s harness racing entries, click the following link: Saturday Entries – Woodbine Mohawk Park.

(with files from The Meadowlands)