McWicked Captures Roll With Joe

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Tioga Downs offered a strong Sunday, Aug. 18 program of racing, which included the Roll With Joe for free-for-all pacers, the Artiscape for free-for-all pacing mares, and a pair of Empire Breeders Classic splits.

McWicked ($2.70) fired first up from third in the $170,000 Roll With Joe and had what it took to capture the stakes with a very solid 1:48.3 mile.

After having started from Post 6, Sears and the Casie Coleman trainee got away third as Filibuster Hanover (driven by Yannick Gingras) cut the opening quarter in :26.4. Gingras was able to rate the second quarter and get down to the opening half in :55.2, which forced Sears and McWicked to come calling first up.

McWicked pressured Filibuster Hanover past the 1:21.2 third call and got the better of his foe through the lane. Filibuster Hanover had to settle for second, while Donttellmeagain came on to finish third.

“The half was (:) 55, but I was sitting close enough – this horse knows what to do,” said Sears, who went on to add, “I chased him a little bit, but he’s a pro and knows what’s going on out there.”

McWicked, an eight-year-old McArdle horse, is owned by S S G Stables (of North Boston, NY).

The $137,000 Artiscape for open pacing mares was the first of the major stakes to be contested during the card, and it was Shartin N ($2.10) who captured Race 5 with an impressive 1:49.1 win for trainer Jim King Jr. and driver Tim Tetrick.

The six-year-old daughter of Tintin In America fired out from Post 3 and powered by a pesky Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy) near the hot :25.3 quarter pole. After clearing to the point, Shartin N went on to carve the middle splits in :54.3 and 1:22 before kicking home in :27.1.

After having sparred with Caviart Ally early, Shartin N had to fend off Seaswift Joy N (Brian Sears) late, as the latter had attacked first up through the back half. Seaswift Joy N had to settle for second, while Caviart Ally, who took a two-hole trip, finished third.

Shartin N races for Richard Poillucci (North Easton, MA), Joann Looney King (Harrington, DE) and Tim Tetrick LLC (Woolwich Twp, NJ). Looney King noted after the race that Shartin N will “probably go to the Milton” for her next assignment.

The last major stakes race of the afternoon was the $238,200 Empire Breeders Classic division for New York-sired three-year-old pacing colts and geldings (Race 9), and it was the Ray Schnittker-trained and Matt Kakaley-driven Hickfromfrenchlick ($8.10) that smoked the timer in 1:48.4. The So Surreal colt launched sat third through the :26.2 opening quarter, launched first over before the :55 half-mile pole and continued to chug right along past the 1:21.1 third call. Hickfromfrenchlick was first under the wire and was followed by two-hole rider Arties Ideal (Marcus Miller) and Covered Bridge (Wally Hennessey), who hung tough along the pylons in the final half.

Hickfromfrenchlick is owned by Ray Schnittker (Middletown, NY), Nolamaura Racing LLC (Goshen, NY) and Thomas Spatorico (Lockport, NY). The 1:48.4 clocking was a new life’s mark for the colt and was also just one fifth of a second slower than Courtly Choice’s track record.

The $232,700 Empire Breeders Classic for New York-sired three-year-old pacing fillies took to the track for Race 8, and it was the Joe Holloway-trained and David Miller-driven Zero Tolerance ($2.40) that recorded a mark-lowering, gate-to-wire win in 1:50.2.

Val Dor Farms (Freehold, NJ) and Ted Gewertz (New York, NY) own Zero Tolerance, who started from Post 4 and cut the fractions in :27.3, :55.3 and 1:22.4. Zero Tolerance was well in hand through the lane and recorded a convincing victory, which was the fifth of her campaign and 12th overall.

The third preliminary leg of the Miss Versatility Series took to the track for Race 4, and it was the Ake Svanstedt-trained and driven Plunge Blue Chip ($4.10) that won the $40,000 tilt with a gate-to-wire performance in 1:51. The four-year-old daughter of Muscle Mass fired from Post 3 and cut the fractions in :27, :55.2 and 1:22 before getting the job done for Ake Svanstedt Inc. (Wrightstown, NJ), Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. (Wallkill, NY) and Tomas Andersson (Nossebro, Sweden).

Earlier on in the card, an $11,000 Open Handicap Trot headed to post for Race 3, and it was the Allen Sisco-trained and Tyler Buter-driven Say You Do ($2.80) that recorded a gate-to-wire victory in 1:54.2 for owner Oldford Racing LLC (Port Huron, MI).

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