McNair Hungry For N.A. Cup Win

In News by COSA

“I’ve been in it a few times with a couple of longshots — I had the 10 hole one time — so to draw good and have a favourite or co-favourite, it’s exciting.”

Stay Hungry came from third-over on the final turn to power by rivals in the lane and win his 2018 Pepsi North America Cup elimination in 1:50 for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Doug McNair.

A son of Somebeachsomewhere, Stay Hungry was one of the winter-book favourites for this year’s Cup after having won six of nine starts and being named Canada’s top two-year-old pacing colt at the O’Brien Awards. His trainer Alagna won the 2013 Cup with Captaintreacherous, while reinsman McNair, last year’s driver of the year in Canada, will be seeking his first Cup in what will be his third attempt.

At Tuesday’s post draw for Saturday’s lucrative N.A. Cup final, McNair and the connections selected post two, inside both elimination winners Wes Delight (PP3, Corey Callahan, 9-2) and favoured Lather Up (PP4, Montrell Teague, 2-1).

“That was the post I was hoping to get,” McNair told Trot Insider at Tuesday’s draw. “Closest to the inside without having the rail, we can figure out a trip for him.”

Stay Hungry has won seven of 11 career starts and earned $588,760 for owners Brad Grant, Woodbine’s leading owner, and the late Irwin Samelman.

The 35th edition of Canada’s richest harness race, showcasing the finest three-year-old pacers on the continent, will head postward at 10:40 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live on TSN2 from 10:00 – 11:00 p.m. (EDT). The winner of the Pepsi North America Cup earns $500,000. This year’s edition marks the 18th anniversary of Pepsi’s sponsorship of the race.

2018 Pepsi North America Cup
(Post – Horse – Driver – Odds)
1 – St Lads Neptune – Jody Jamieson – 8/1
2 – Stay Hungry – Doug McNair – 5/2
3 – Wes Delight – Corey Callahan – 9/2
4 – Lather Up – Montrell Teague – 2/1
5 – American History – Yannick Gingras – 10/1
6 – Lost In Time – Scott Zeron – 12/1
7 – Done Well – Tim Tetrick – 4/1
8 – Nutcracker Sweet – David Miller – 15/1
9 – Hayden Hanover – Andy Miller – 20/1
10 – Hitman Hill – Brett Miller – 20/1

The Cup night card will offer three Pick-4 wagers, including an All Stakes Pick-4 with a $100,000 guaranteed pool, comprising of Races 9 through 12. There will also be a mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5.

The North America Cup undercard features some of harness racing’s premier competitors in the $415,000 Fan Hanover for three-year-old pacing fillies, $370,000 Roses Are Red for pacing mares, $250,000 Armbro Flight for trotting mares, $266,000 Goodtimes for three-year-old trotters and the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational for pacers.

Post time for the first of 15 races on the Pepsi North America Cup card is 6:30 p.m.

To view Saturday’s entries, click on one of the following links:
Woodbine Mohawk Park – Saturday Entries – Program Pages (courtesy TrackIT).

The I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club has also organized an online handicapping contest for Saturday’s card. If you are heading to Mohawk on Saturday, make sure to visit the I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club booth. The Fan Club be offering a trackside contest to select the winner of the Pepsi North America Cup and have some great new Fan Club swag for sale.