June 27, 2009
Celebrating its 26th 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 ten lined up behind the gate on a warm Saturday night, with ideal racing weather -- clear, calm, and temperatures in the 70's. Burlington Stakes winner Keep It Real was the 9-5 favorite exiting a runner-up finish in his elimination heat. In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice Well Said who finished in front in the same elimination, and 7-2 Dial or Nodial, third in the New Jersey Classic then winner of his elimination.
If I Can Dream went to the lead soon after the start, getting the initial quarter in 26 seconds, with Mr. Wiggles 1 3/4 length behind in second. Entering the backstretch, driver Steve Condren sent Keep It Real, wide around the clubhouse turn, up to the front to set the pace, getting the 1/2 in 54 3/5 and 3/4 in 1:22, with Dial or NoDial and If I Can Dream giving chase. Keep It Real led the field to the top of the stretch, but Well Said and driver Ron Pierce, who sat back in 6th early and wide around both turns, found room between horses and came through to take over the lead at the 1/8 pole. Well Said drew off late to win going away by 3 1/4 lengths in a new stakes, track, and Canadian record time of 1:48 1/5 over the fast track. Art Colony rallied from 7th early to nose out Keep It Real in the final strides to earn second place money.
Results charts for the night