It was an exciting weekend for live horse racing in Ontario, as fans watched the 38th edition of the Pepsi North America Cup on September 11, at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The annual CA$1 million event attracts plenty of interest and this year, Desperate Man overcame the crowd’s favorite Bulldog Hanover and emerged victorious in the thrilling standardbred race.
The winner has managed to finally beat the fan-favorite and provincial rival Bulldog Hanover as it previously has fallen short to do so with several runner-up finishes. In nine starts this season, Desperate Man now has two wins. During his career, the horse has a total of five wins from 15 starts and now has managed to win CA$853,014 for owners Kathy & John Cecchin.
Bulldog Hanover enjoyed a great start and took the lead in the first quarter with a time of :27.3. Perfect Sting got a :55.1 at the half and then the third quarter was again for Bulldog Hanover with a time of 1:22. However, the horse did not deal well with the pressure and started to drift off the cones in the final stages of the race.
Driver of Desperate Man, Trevor Henry saw the opportunity and was quick to take advantage of it, and the Shadow Play gelding overcame his exhausted competitors and grabbed the victory with a time of 1:49.3 and leader by three-quarters of a length. Perfect Sting managed to get second place, as Whichwaytothebeach made his way to third, and Bulldog Hanover slipping to fourth place.
Due to their strong performances in the elimination, Bulldog Hannover and Perfect Sting had the opportunity to select their own postpositions, as they started from post 3 and 4. Jimmy Connor B started from post 1, Bettor Sun at post 2, Whichwaytothebeach at number 5, and the winner at post 6. Posts 7, 8, 9, and 10 were designated for Simon Says Hanover, Abuckabett Hanover, Rockyroad Hanover, and Southwind Gendry.
This was the driver’s fourth appearance at the North America Cup, and this one came with his first win of the series. For trainer Kathy Cecchin, with less than 200 starts during her career, this was her first participation in the annual event which was also marked with a win. After the race John Cecchin said that it was great to win the series and with the winnings, he can cover the CA$8,000 starter fee.
Update in Health Protocols
Last week was a pretty important one for the horse racing industry of Ontario as Woodbine Entertainment has adopted the provincial proof of vaccine measures. The company’s properties in Ontario: Woodbine Racetrack, Casino Woodbine, Woodbine Mohawk Park Racetrack, Elements Casino Mohawk, Greenwood Teletheatre, and WEGZ Stadium Bar will now require patrons, staff, members, and horse racing participants to present proof of full immunization. If not vaccinated they must undergo the Enhanced Screening Program.
The beforementioned properties of Woodbine Entertainment include Woodbine Racetrack, Casino Woodbine, Woodbine Mohawk Park Racetrack, Elements Casino Mohawk, Greenwood Teletheatre, and WEGZ Stadium Bar. The employees of Casino Woodbine and Elements Casino Mohawk are currently not employed by the company, will not undergo the Vaccination Policy for employees.
Source: “Desperate Man Wins The 2021 North America Cup”, Standardbred Canada, September 11, 2021