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Coleman On Her Yonkers Starters

Published: October 17, 2014 4:20 pm ET

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McWicked might be Casie Coleman’s high-profile star at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night, but Also Encouraging is also worthy of admiration in the trainer’s eyes.

Coleman will send three-year-old male pacer McWicked into Saturday’s $40,000 single elimination for the Messenger Stakes, which is the third jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown, and three-year-old female pacer Also Encouraging into the second of two $20,000 eliminations for the Lady Maud Stakes.

McWicked and driver David Miller are 5-2 on the morning line, the second choice behind the three-horse entry of All Bets Off, Double Your Bet, and Forty Five Red from the stable of Ron Burke. The top eight finishers from the nine-horse field will advance to the $500,000 final on October 25 at Yonkers.

Also Encouraging, also with Miller at the lines, is 2-1 in her six-horse Lady Maud division, where Act Now is the 9-5 favourite. Fancy Desire is the 6-5 choice in the other elim. The top four finishers from each elimination advance to the $150,854 final on October 25.

“A lot of times I think I might have (Also Encouraging) in too tough, but she hardly ever misses the top three,” Coleman said. “She gives it everything she’s got. She’s tough as nails, that filly.

“She’s just all racehorse. It would be nice if all horses tried as much as she did.”

Also Encouraging, a daughter of Western Terror out of the mare Magic Moments, was purchased for $12,000 at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale. She is owned by Coleman’s West Wins Stable.

This year, she has won four of 17 races, hit the board a total of 14 times, and earned $314,911. Her top win came in the $124,325 Shady Daisy at Tioga Downs, where she rallied from eighth place at the top of the stretch.

“She’s in tough again, like she always is, but she always seems to come through,” Coleman said. “She hasn’t had the best post draws a lot of times, but she is always charging hard at the wire. Nothing she does would shock me. She always seems to put her ‘A’ game on.”

McWicked will look to return to his winning ways after having finished third in his first heat of September’s Little Brown Jug, fifth in the Jug final, and second to All Bets Off in a three-year-old open handicap on October 4 at Yonkers.

He has won nine of 16 starts and earned $945,596 for owner S S G Stables. His victories include the Max C. Hempt Memorial, Delvin Miller Adios, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship.

“Everything has been good with him,” Coleman said. “He came out of the Jug sick. We gave him a few weeks off and raced him at Yonkers and he raced really good.”

In the race at Yonkers, All Bets Off got to the front in a :27 opening quarter-mile and never looked back. McWicked was fifth, six lengths back, at the top of the stretch before closing in :27.1 to finish second by one and a half lengths.

“I’m not usually happy when I don’t win, but (All Bets Off) is a really nice horse,” Coleman said. “He got away on us, our colt was a long ways off, but he came charging real hard at the end. I was really happy with that start.

“He races good anyway you race him, but he loves to come off a helmet whenever it’s possible. He trained real good this week and he seems sharp. He seems like he’s back to being himself. Hopefully we can have a little luck in the Messenger.”

The Messenger also includes Lyonssomewhere, who won the Cane Pace, which is the first jewel in the Triple Crown. Limelight Beach, who won the second leg, the Little Brown Jug, is not entered in the Messenger.

No Pan Intended was the last pacer to win the Triple Crown, in 2003. Rock N Roll Heaven was the last pacer to capture two jewels, in 2010.

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit

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