CAMPBELLVILLE, Ont. -- Captaintreacherous followed in his famous father's footsteps Saturday night at the $1-million Pepsi North America Cup.
The son of 2008 champion Somebeachsomewhere came from mid-pack to capture a stirring 1 1/2-length victory over longshot Twilight Bonfire in the world's richest pacing event at Mohawk Racetrack.
Captaintreacherous, who went off at 7-5 odds, became the first favourite to win this race since Somebeachsomewhere and earned American Tim Tetrick, North America's top driver last year, his first North America Cup victory.
"He's such a good horse," Tetrick said. "At times he doesn't always show it but he's always great.
"I put a lot of confidence in my colt and when I called on him, he did his job."
Captaintreacherous, North America's 2012 champion two-year-old pacer, finished in one minute 48.3 seconds to earn the $500,000 winner's share and push his career earnings over $1.4 million. He also improved to 3-0 this year and has never finished out of the money (11 wins, one second, one third).
Twilight Bonfire, a whopping 90-1 longshot, finished ahead of third-place finisher Wake Up Peter.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne wasn't present for the North America Cup but was in attendance at Mohawk Racetrack earlier Saturday night.
The remainder of the field, in order of finish, was: Fool Me Once; Sunshine Beach; Captive Audience; Vegas Vacation; Martini Hanover; Odds on Equuleus; and Apprentice Hanover.
Captaintreacherous paid $4.80, $3.30 and $2.70. Twilight Bonfire returned $44 and $15.40 while Wake Up Peter paid $4.80.
Captaintreacherous left from the No. 4 hole but was no better than fifth for most of the mile as Captive Audience, a 35-1 longshot driven by Randy Waples of Milton, Ont., stormed to the lead. Waples won last year's North America Cup with stakes record-holder Thinking Out Loud.
Canadian-owned Fool Me Once, with veteran driver Sylvain Filion of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, Que., had the lead over Captive Audience after the final turn. But down the stretch Tetrick took Captaintreacherous out wide and the three-year-old pacer simply found another gear to storm to the decisive win.
"That's the main thing," Tetrick said. "They have to want to do it, they have to want to be champions, they have to be able to put the moves out in front.
"You know, he doesn't always win by much but he gets the job done and he's good."
And it was no small feat considering Fool Me Once posted a career-best effort of 1:48.1 in posting the fastest elimination-winning time last weekend at Mohawk.
Captaintreacherous enjoyed a banner 2012 campaign, winning 8-of-10 starts, including the $1 million Metro Pace. And winning trainer Tony Alagna figured Saturday's race would pan out much like the '12 Metro Pace, the country's top race for two-year-old pacers.
"I talked to Timmy before the race and said, 'The way it looks like it's going to unfold out exactly how the Metro did last year,"' said Alagna, who also conditioned Wake Up Peter. "A couple of horses are going to run from the outside and they're going to carry you into it.
"And that's how the race worked out. Tim worked out a masterful trip and the horse showed up. Every time this horse gets a question mark he comes back and answers with an exclamation mark."
Captaintreacherous's performance left part-owner Marvin Katz of Toronto speechless -- sort of.
"It's indescribable, it's profound, it's just hard find to find words to articulate this," Katz said. "He elevated himself to the pantheon of great horses.
"This was not easy. This is a great group of horses he defeated and he really raced like the champion he is. He really elevated his stock tonight."
David Miller, the driver for Twilight Bonfire, was ecstatic with his second-place finisher. And with good reason. Twilight Bonfire finished fourth in his elimination race last weekend but drew into the Cup field.
"I feel like I won the race," he said. "The horse race tremendous.
"I was a bit disappointed in him last week but we were lucky to get in this race with the draw and he proved that he belongs."
Filion said he knew early something was wrong with Fool Me Once.
"When we hit the half he chucked his head, almost like he was looking for air," Filion said. "Right then I thought he wasn't himself and I know we went a good third quarter but he wasn't the same as last week.
"Last week he was right on the bit and tonight I had to chase him along."