Strong field assembled for Saturday's $1M North America Cup at Woodbine

MILTON, Ont. — One of the strongest fields ever assembled for the Pepsi North America Cup is now slotted in for Saturday's $1 million race at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

“It's such a deep field of horses,” said James MacDonald, who will drive Legendary Hanover from post-eight in the evening race.

The post position draw for Canada’s most prestigious harness race took place Tuesday night.

“It looks like, usually there's two or three that can probably legitimately win, and this year it looks like there's probably eight or nine. It’s an unbelievable field,” said MacDonald.

Elimination winners Captains Quarters, Funtime Bayama and Nijinsky were guaranteed to land a post anywhere from two to six. Captains Quarters landed post-five, Funtime Bayama got post-six and Nijinsky post-four.

Captains Quarters, who won last year’s Metro Pace, won his elimination in a career best 1:49.1 for his fourth win in eight career starts. The son of Captaintreacherous is owned by Rich Stiles.

“I'm thinking as (they’re) drawing the posts, how many times that I've actually been here to experience it and it just never gets old,” said Jody Jamieson, who will drive Captains Quarters for trainer Herb Holland.

Funtime Bayama races for Yves Filion’s Bayama Farms, trainer Richard Moreau and driver Sylvain Filion. Sylvain will look to follow his father to an NA Cup win, as Yves won the 1988 edition with Runnymede Lobell.

Nijinsky is one of two starters for trainer Anthony Beaton. The son of Bettors Delight won his elimination in 1:50.2 to remain undefeated in four starts this season after winning just once in 10 as a two-year-old.

Louis-Philippe Roy will drive Nijinsky for owners West Wins Stable, John Fielding and Mark Dumain.

The other Beaton Cup starter is 2023 O’Brien Award winner Legendary Hanover. The son of Huntsville finished second by a head to Funtime Bayama in his elimination for his first loss of 2024.

Legendary Hanover has won eight of 13 career starts for owners Eric Good, West Wins Stable and Mark Dumain.

Trainer Nancy Takter will send out two Cup starters in search of his third victory in the event. Ivy Park leaves from post-seven with 2020 Cup winning driver Yannick Gingras, while Total Stranger goes from post-nine with two-time Cup winning driver Tim Tetrick.

Captain Albano, who has won nine-times and never been outside the top-two in 12 starts, goes from post-two for 2022 Cup winning duo of driver Todd McCarthy and trainer Noel Daley.

Captain Luke also has past Cup winning connections. Driver Scott Zeron is looking to go back-to-back after winning last year with Its My Show, while trainer Tony Alagna won in 2013 with Captaintreacherous. Captain Luke is a three-time winner and starts from post-three.

Trainer Dr. Ian Moore and driver Bob McClure team with Storm Shadow from the rail starting spot. The same duo finished second in 2020 with Tattoo Artist.

The outside starter from post-10 is Janelle Granny. The Ohio standout will race for local father-son duo of trainer Ron and driver Brett MacDonald. Both will be making their Cup debut.

The stakes record is 1:47.2, established in 2019 by Captain Crunch.


Post 1: Storm Shadow (Bob McClure, Dr. Ian Moore) ​Post 2: Captain Albano (Todd McCarthy, Noel Daley) ​Post 3: Captain Luke (Scott Zeron, Tony Alagna) ​Post 4: Nijinsky (Louis-Philippe Roy, Anthony Beaton) ​Post 5: Captains Quarters (Jody Jamieson, Herb Holland) ​Post 6: Funtime Bayama (Sylvain Filion, Richard Moreau) ​Post 7: Ivy Park (Yannick Gingras, Nancy Takter) ​Post 8: Legendary Hanover (James MacDonald, Anthony Beaton) ​Post 9: Total Stranger (Tim Tetrick, Nancy Takter) ​Post 10: Janelle Granny (Brett MacDonald—Ron MacDonald)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2024.

The Canadian Press