“It’s going to be a big year of racing with the three-year-olds. You just hope you’ve got something to stay in the mix. We’ll see what’s around the corner. It’s a long season and hopefully we’ll have a little bit of luck.”
That’s how George Teague, Jr. feels as he prepares to send two Pepsi North America Cup hopefuls, Easy Again and Allstar Legend, to Mohawk Racetrack for Saturday’s Somebeachsomewhere Stakes while a third will get something of a tryout in Friday’s Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at The Meadows.
The Somebeachsomewhere, named in honour of harness racing’s 2008 Horse of the Year, drew 16 horses and was divided into two eight-horse divisions going for $100,000 each. Allstar Legend got post one in the first division while Easy Again will start from post four in the second.
Eliminations for the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old pacers will be held June 9 at Mohawk, with the final to follow a week later.
“They’re doing well,” Teague said about his horses. “I feel real good about how they came back. Like any other year, there are some pretty good horses out there. There’s always speculation every year, and this year is no different, but this year seems like there’s a lot of good ones out there.
“It’s looking tough. There are no gimmes, I’m telling you.”
Easy Again heads to Ontario following a second-place finish to Mcerlean in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on May 19. He was beaten by a half-length in 1:50.1, pacing his final quarter-mile in :26.4.
“He came up a little short; (Mcerlean) outpaced him to the wire,” Teague said. “You’re always disappointed when you lose, but it happens. Hopefully, he can redeem himself a little bit come Saturday. It’s a pretty good prep.”
For the year, Easy Again (Dragon Again-Kuklapanandollie) has won two of three starts and earned $41,428. Last season, he finished second to Sweet Lou in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and won divisions of the Arden Downs and Reynolds Memorial stakes.
Teague’s son, Montrell, is listed to drive Easy Again in the Somebeachsomewhere for owners George Teague Jr Inc, Kovach Stables, Ted Gewertz and Robert Feldman.
Allstar Legend, with Luc Ouellette listed to drive Saturday, also has two wins in three starts this year. He went off stride in his most recent effort, a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Pocono Downs won by Sweet Lou.
“He had the nine hole and was trying to leave pretty good for position,” Teague said about the miscue. “I think it was more so just getting out of there a little too quick.”
Last season, Allstar Legend (Four Starzzz Shark-Lifetime Gal) ended the campaign by finishing second to Heston Blue Chip in the Matron Stakes. He also was second to A Rocknroll Dance in his elimination for the Metro Pace. A Rocknroll Dance won in 1:49.1, which at the time equaled the world record.
Allstar Legend is owned by Brittany Farms and John Cherveny.
“He finished up real well,” Teague said. “He did real well at times last year. He was shuffled back in the (Metro) final and was a little bit aggressive. He’s learned a little bit since then. I think he’ll have a good year.”
Prior to the Somebeachsomewhere, Teague will watch Cold Hearted Shark (Four Starzzz Shark-Cold Heart) race at The Meadows in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. A strong effort could send him to the North America Cup. The colt has won two of nine career races and earned $108,951 for Teague, Feldman, Gewertz and Fannin Racing.
“It is a possibility,” Teague said. “He raced pretty good last year. We’ll see how he races on Friday and get a little bit better judge of it.
This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.