This year's North America Cup field is very talented and there are a few who could be on their way to having great careers. My take is the winner will come from one of the three morning line chalks: 5-Pebble Beach (8/5), 4-Beach Glass (3-1) and 7-Night Hawk (7/2).
Pebble Beach has looked so impressive from a sheer power standpoint and with a smooth trip he is the likely winner. But the favorite will be a short price and there is a possibility that Pebble Beach may have to work hard to get the lead. Going for a $1,000,000 purse it will be hardball all the way around. Todd McCarthy may not be able to get to the top early on and the skillful pilot will need to have this top colt in position to shine down the stretch. That very well could happen but it also sets-up an opportunity for those want to swing against the morning line chalk.
My choice will be to use Beach Glass on top and my tickets will have Night Hawk well represented as well. It's the 3rd start this season for Beach Glass and 2nd time Yannick Gingras, so the youngster could be sitting on the best race of his short career. According to reports from trainer Brent MacGrath he came out of the elimination in good shape and could be even better this time. Last week's effort from the 8-hole in only the 2nd start of the year left an impression.
Night Hawk offers some value and shouldn't be overlooked. My take is Dave Miller won't be trying to be as aggressive to get the lead as in the elimination but could be right there to roll by near the wire. If the fractions are hot and others battle throughout, don't discount Mr. Miller working the right trip to sweep by late.
The 1, 2, 3, 6 and 8 could be used for those playing Trifectas and Superfectas.
Comments below are based on a fast track.
Race 11-Pepsi North America Cup XXXIX Final-3-Year-Old Pacers
1-Fourever Boy (20-1)-This Tim Twaddle entry will be driven by Mike Wilder and hasn't taken a picture on a larger oval as both career wins came on the 5/8's at Pocono. Could catch a fortunate trip and hit the bottom of the Super but finishing higher doesn't appear likely.
2-I Did It Myway (8-1)-Andrew McCarthy gets the assignment as Tim Tetrick steers #10 and that is interesting because Tony Alagna trains this 3-year-old. That said, with a sharp steer this colt could add some juice to the gimmicks. Caught a great trip last week but couldn't tackle Beach Glass after a pocket ride. But best to respect chances to be in the hunt.
3-Ron (20-1)-A lack of early speed makes Ron trip dependent and would need some quick fractions. He can close in a hurry but there is some high-end talent in this field and would need a few breaks to earn a check. But with this post draw Jody Jamieson could be closer to the lead at the top of the lane.
4-Beach Glass (3-1)-Out of the last crop of Somebeachsomewhere and from the MacGrath stable this colt is just scratching the surface. Has only made 7 lifetime starts and has notched 4 wins and two 2nd place finishes. Yannick Gingras made his debut between the pipes last week and won an elimination from the 8-hole. His addition could make a significant difference and may offset this talented colts lack of experience.
5-Pebble Beach (8/5)-Winner in 9 of 14 lifetime is a perfect 2 for 2 at Wbsb and has a ton of talent. Todd McCarthy steers this Noel Daly pupil who is more seasoned than Beach Glass and Night Hawk. The one glitch in his armor is drifting out down the lane as was the case in both starts here but it didn't matter. Won in 149.4 last week and there appeared to be a lot left in the tank. There's no telling how fast he will go tonight, and the race goes through this son of Downbytheseaside.
6-Ario Hanover (10-1)-Sizzled the back half in 53.2 last week and now gets the services of Dexter Dunn. This Brian Brown trainee has only made 7 lifetime starts and could be a fine horse. Looks like an outsider to take top honors but might spice up the exotics.
7-Night Hawk (7/2)-The other Brown entry retains the services of David Miller and has a shot to take a picture. Has only made 2 starts on a larger oval but has a win and a 2nd place finish to show for it. What keeps this son of Betting Line in the mix is his early speed and could leave to get an up-close seat. This will be a big test but best to not overlook, has 5 wins in 7 starts and has never been worse than 2nd.
8-Kolby Two Step (15-1)-The post draw gods didn't do Kolby any favors starting from post 8 last week and post 9 tonight. James MacDonald grabs the lines and this Betterthancheddar colt should be motoring down the lane. The issue will be how far away from the leader will this longshot be turning for the wire?
9-Frozen Hanover (20-1)-This Luc Blais pupil gets the services of Louis Roy but appears to be in too tough. Has some early foot and could leave but it is doubtful that plan works versus this crew.
10-Mad Max Hanover (15-1)-Tetrick lands here by choice and this Jake Leamon trainee appears better on a shorter oval. Competitive sort usually is in the mix at the wire and would have a different opinion if drew inside. But from this starting slot, even with Tetrick doing the steering, hitting the board doesn't seem like a likelihood.
NA-Market Based-Nancy Takter trainee is eligible if there is a scratch, and would be a longshot versus this crew. Has big speed but looks to be better suiter on a 5/8's oval.
Check me out on Twitter!