Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #8

Published: April 9, 2022 02:58 pm EDT

With the scheduled date of the 2022 Pepsi North America Cup just over two months away, Trot Insider will profile some of the race's top contenders as horses ready to compete for one of Canadian harness racing's biggest prizes.

Betterhavemymoney continues the countdown, coming in at #8 in TROT Magazine's 2022 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book assessed odds of 18-1.

Named Canada's Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year at the 2021 O'Brien Awards, Betterhavemymoney (Betterthancheddar - Whosluckierthanme) hit the board in seven of 10 races for breeder / owner Millar Farms of Stoufville, Ont., with four wins and more than $335,000 in earnings. The highlight of his season was a sweep of the elimination and final of Grand River Raceway’s signature event, The Battle of Waterloo, for trainer Nick Gallucci and driver James MacDonald.


Trot Insider caught up with Gallucci for an update on the award-winning pacer, one of three 2021 O'Brien Award finalists and two O'Brien Award winners — along with filly Prohibition Legal — campaigned by the conditioner who was himself an O'Brien Award finalist.

"We took a chip out of his back ankle, it kind of started bothering him towards the end of the year and that's maybe why he tailed off a bit," Gallucci said of Betterhavemymoney. "He ended up having some stall rest and we never ended up bringing him back until February 1."

Where did he winter?

"We just kept him here at the farm."

Have you noticed any changes from last year to this year?

"Physically, he seems like he's filled out a little bit more. He was already a pretty big colt. He seems a little bit more muscular. Mentally, he seems like the same horse. He's just a good feeling horse all the time. He doesn't really seem to know when it's not go time; he's just always on his toes."

Where are you at with him now and what will his early schedule look like leading up to the Pepsi North America Cup?

"We trained him in 2:20 the other day so we're aiming for a start towards the end of May. We skipped the SBOA and we're just going to make sure he's ready to go especially for the Somebeachsomewhere and then the North America Cup.

"2:20 doesn't sound like a lot but he's had a lot of slower conditioning miles so he's ready to drop...personally, I just like to make sure they have a good foundation in them and, you know, he's going to go a few fast miles before he qualifies anyway. So we'll just play it by ear with him, and he'll let us know when he's ready."

What does his tentative schedule look like after the Pepsi North America Cup?

"We have all Ontario-sired horses. It's such a great program [in Ontario]. I just kept him in all the big races up here. So he'll have the Simcoe and Breeders Crown, and then possibly the Matron after that but it's going to depend on how he finishes the year."

What's his biggest asset / strength?

"It's a tough question; at the start of the year when he was racing really well, he was very versatile and he seems like he's gotten back to that state now. Towards the end of last year, he was wasn't really rateable. This year, coming back, he seems like his old self; he seems really relaxed and he's waiting for us to tell him what to do. I think that's the biggest thing with any horse: as long as they're relaxed and you're not fighting with you the whole time, they're going to race better that way.

"There's usually a reason why they start acting like that. Usually it's a soundness problem; they just start to be a little more aggressive and they're just not as happy doing their job. Usually if they're sound they're going to be a little quieter and a lot happier."

Did the surgery have a role to play with this as well?

"Oh yeah, I think so. Like I said there was a bit of an issue there that was definitely bothering him towards the end of the year. We got that rectified and hopefully we get the old Betterhavemymoney back."

At what point last year did you think this horse was North America Cup material?

"Definitely after his first lifetime start. Up until then, you know, he never showed anything flashy but he always did everything right. He always had a good attitude, very good gait, but you don't really know until you start racing what caliber of horse they're going to end up being. He was just so dominant for a couple of races, you're thinking about getting through the two-year-old year, but you're definitely hoping they're good enough for our signature race."

How does it feel to have your colt mentioned as a contender in, like you say, one of Canada's signature events?

"It's definitely very exciting. You know, it's one of those races in Canada you hope to have one in, and if you get a piece of it that's even better. Definitely looking forward to it."