June 16, 2012
Celebrating its 29th renewal this year, the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup is the richest pacing race in the world, featuring the best 3-year-old pacers in North America traveling the standard 1 mile distance around the 7/8 mile oval at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ontario. A full field of 10 lined up behind the starter under ideal racing conditions, a clear night with temperatures in the mid 70's and minimal wind and a lightning-fast track. Last year's Breeders Crown 2-year-old pace winner Sweet Lou was sent off as the 1-2 favorite, off wins in the Pennsylvania Sires stakes at Pocono and Meadows followed by his Cup elimination. In to challenge him included 5-1 second choice Warrawee Needy, second to Sweet Lou last week, and 8-1 third choice Thinking Out Loud, second in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes followed by a third place finish in the eliminations.
Warrawee Needy went to the lead first time by and he set a stakes record pace of 25 1/5 and 52 4/5 while pressed by A Rocknroll Dance, with Sweet Lou stalking the lead pair in third. On the far turn, Sweet Lou came out wide to challenge and took over the lead entering the stretch, getting 3/4 in 1:20 3/5. Sweet Lou had a 1 1/2 length advantage in mid-stretch, but the fast pace set the race up for the closers Thinking Out Loud and Time to Roll were very wide on the far turn and passed the tiring favorite. Thinking Out Loud outfinished Time to Roll by 1/2 length in 1:47 4/5. It was a head back to Dapper Dude third, and another 3/4 length back to Sweet Lou fourth.
Also on the card Beer Summit won the Goodtimes Trot, American Jewel won the Fan Hanover, Check Me Out won the Elegantimage, Pembroke Heat Wave won the Armbro Flight, and We Will See won the Mohawk Gold Cup.