Kicking off a busy stretch of Grand Circuit racing in June, a pair of Somebeachsomewhere Stakes divisions on Saturday (June 4) at Woodbine Mohawk Park offered a mini preview of next Saturday’s Pepsi North America Cup eliminations.
Magical Arthur came out on top in a wild $80,000 Somebeachsomewhere division for driver Trevor Henry and trainer Anthony Beaton.
Competing in a field of five, Magical Arthur and Henry blasted to the lead, posting a :27.1 opening quarter. Favourite Stonebridge Helios and driver Bob McClure got away fifth and were on the move entering the backstretch. That move then sent Beach Glass and driver Paul MacDonell out of the two-hole to come around, but the lead change wasn’t without some battle.
After hitting the half in :55, Beach Glass was overtaken by Stonebridge Helios, who led by three-quarters in 1:23. The top two engaged in a battle down the lane, but Magical Arthur got the last laugh, powering by on the outside to win by a half-length over Beach Glass in 1:50.3. Stonebridge Helios was third while Frozen Hanover was fourth.
A gelded son of Artspeak, Magical Arthur was winless in three starts this season prior to Saturday’s race. The homebred for David Lumsden now has four wins and $271,453 in earnings.
“Tonight, he had a chance to race and he proved he’s as good as them,” said Henry of Magical Arthur. “They are two nice horses and I thought I could get up for second, Bobby [McClure] was pecking at [Stonebridge Helios] at the head of the stretch and I thought I might get second, but I didn’t really think I could beat [Beach Glass], but he did.”
Magical Arthur paid $13.90 to win.
Top "Cup" contender Pebble Beach went coast to coast to win the first $81,000 Somebeachsomewhere division in 1:51. Driver Todd McCarthy sent the Noel Daley trainee to the lead immediately and got full control, posting fractions of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24.1 before snapping a :26.4 kicker to secure the victory.
“I was pretty fortunate to get cheap [fractions],” said McCarthy. “Ideally I do like to race him off a helmet, having him out front there tonight I was a little concerned how he would be, but he finished up really strong and I was super happy with him.”
Kolby Two Step rallied to finish second, beaten 2-3/4 lengths behind the winner. Sport Secret and Chucky Hanover completed the top four.
A son of Downbytheseaside, Pebble Beach picked up the first win of his three-year-old season. The Daley trainee raced from off the pace in his season's debut on May 21 at The Meadowlands, pacing a final three-quarters of 1:20 to finish second.
Pebble Beach stamped himself as a pre-season Cup favourite following an 11-start rookie campaign that included seven wins, $361,250 earned and a mark of 1:48.4. He is owned by Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, Country Club Acres and Laexpressfoderadeovolente.
A $2 win ticket on Pebble Beach returned $2.40.
Both of Saturday’s Somebeachsomewhere division winners are eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup.