McWicked Caps Season With TVG Score

Published: November 24, 2018 07:58 pm EST

Sent off as the 1-9 favourite, McWicked waited until forced first over at the half to cruise toward the top and put away his competition through the lane in progress to a 1:48 victory in the $350,000 TVG Free For All Pace on the stakes-laden program at the Meadowlands Saturday, Nov. 24.

Filibuster Hanover flew towards the lead while Western Fame took the pocket ahead of McWicked starting from the rail in third. Past a :27 opening quarter, Filibuster Hanover raced uncontested on the point while Dealt A Winner, racing fourth, eventually flushed McWicked first over by a :54.2 half.

McWicked drew closer to the leader rounding the final turn with Dealt A Winner close on cover. Filibuster Hanover still held control by three-quarters in 1:21.2 but clung for position through the lane as McWicked outkicked all of his competition through the stretch. Dealt A Winner got a nose on Filibuster Hanover for second with Western Fame taking fourth.

"He was absolutely awesome," trainer Casie Coleman said after the race. "He's been awesome all season [but] I was a little worried when Filibuster [Hanover] got to the front and nobody was coming. I thought we would go slow fractions up front but he was rolling along and it set up great. He's coming back to race next year so long as he's healthy and sound. It's scary to see that he keeps getting better and better but he's as good now right now as he was a three year old or earlier this season."

A seven-year-old stallion by McArdle, McWicked won his 12th race in 19 starts this season and his 34th in 93 overall, earning $3,900,376. Brian Sears drove the $2.20 winner for owner S S G Stables.

Sophomore trotter Tactical Landing ranged first over into pouring rains and strode clear to a 1:51.4 victory against aged competition in the $350,000 TVG Free For All Trot, giving Jimmy Takter the last stakes win of his career.

I Know My Chip fired for the lead before yielding to Guardian Angel As past a :27.3 opening quarter. Six Pack, the other three year old in the race, vacated the rail moving to the backstretch and brushed to the top before hitting the half in :55.1.

Tactical Landing, positioned fifth, moved first over at the half with Will Take Charge following from second over into the far turn. The two sophomores matched strides passed a 1:24 third quarter before Tactical Landing edged to the lead with ease through the lane. Six Pack chased a widening margin to hold second from Will Take Charge third and Guardian Angel As fourth.

"To win with this horse [and] this race here, [it's] really, really special," trainer Jimmy Takter said. "I'm so proud of this horse-I can't race a horse more than I've raced this guy. I mean he's just a wonderful horse; he's just one of a kind.

"In the beginning he was a real project. I had to carry him around the track quite a bit. He just didn't have the confidence in himself but he trotted [1]:51 in his first start here for me. It tells you what kind of ability this horse had and the mile he did today here in this weather... it's just a fantastic feeling. I'm really, really proud."

Owned by The Tactical Landing Stable, Tactical Landing won his ninth race in 16 starts overall, earning $819,300. Brian Sears drove the $4.80 winner whose racing future currently sits up in the air per trainer Takter.

Even-money favourite Emoticon Hanover grabbed the front early and maintained her speed through the line to take the $175,000 TVG Mare Trot in 1:52.4 over a wet track rated "good".

The five-year-old mare by Kadabra sped towards the top while Hannelore Hanover tucked into the pocket ahead of rail-starter Ice Attraction in third. By the quarter in :28, Emoticon Hanover continued to set a tepid tempo past a :56.3 half as Ice Attraction tipped out of third to apply first-over pressure on the leader.

Ice Attraction ranged to the pacesetter's wheel heading past three-quarters in 1:25.4 before stalling her bid into the stretch. Hannelore Hanover shook from the pocket spot before splitting rivals when room opened mid-stretch to mount a challenge on Emoticon Hanover nearing the wire. However Emoticon Hanover won the wire-bound sprint and held off Hannelore Hanover by a neck at the finish while Celebrity Ruth kicked off cover second over to take third.

"Everything went good," driver Dan Dube said after the race. "We went to the front and those fractions to the third quarter-she responded finishing. I wasn't sure [I had the race won] because Hannelore [Hanover] is great. But mine fought to the wire... she surprised me."

Winning her sixth race in 15 starts this season and her 22nd in 53 overall, Emoticon Hanover has earned over $1.4 million for owner Determination Inc. Luc Blais conditions the mare out of Emmylou Who and paid $4.00 to win.

Shartin N shot to the top and sprinted to the wire over a track downgraded to sloppy to take the $175,000 TVG Mares Pace in 1:50.3 over 55-1 shot Apple Bottom Jeans.

Caviart Ally, Blue Moon Stride and Pure Country all left for the lead while Shartin N, starting from post one, pushed through the pylons to protect position into the first turn. Driver Tim Tetrick secured the top and led Caviart Ally to the quarter in :27 while Nike Franco N sat third ahead of Blue Moon Stride fourth.

Blue Moon Stride angled off the pylons and drove first over towards the leader heading to a :56.2 half with Pure Country loosely in tow second over. Shartin N quickened the pace around the final turn to trip three-quarters in 1:23.2 and widened her advantage under minimal encouragement spinning into the stretch. Apple Bottom Jeans, widest of all, swept by rivals to take second while Pure Country edged Caviart Ally for third.

"She's been great," co-owner Richard Poillucci said after the race. "It's been a great trip with her-she's been so talented. [It] was a little tough in the beginning with some breaks and [she was] a little rank when we got her here [to the US] but she's just been an incredible mare."

A five-year-old mare by Tintin In America, Shartin N won her 19th race in 24 starts and her 26th in 37 overall, earning over $1 million this season and $1.1 million overall. Jim King Jr. conditions the $3.60 winner for owners Richard Poillucci and Joann Looney-King. Poillucci confirmed that she made her last start of the year and should return in February for the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway.

Captain Crunch capitalized off a second over trip while stalking a fast pace and vaulted to a 1:50.3 victory in the $469,300 Governor's Cup final over late-rallying Macs Power.

Escapetothebeach sprinted to the lead while Waterway protected position to sit the pocket heading past a :27.1 opening quarter. Mangogh, the elimination winner, edged first over from fourth and brushed to the lead prior to a :54.3 midpoint.

Semi Tough supplied cover to Captain Crunch when pulling first over from fourth heading into the final turn. Mangogh clung to command passing three-quarters in 1:23 and had to fight the livening backfield into the lane while Captain Crunch angled off cover and shot to the lead. Macs Power, from fourth over, slid past rivals to take second while Blood Money finished third from between horses ahead of Mangogh fourth.

"We really took our time with him," trainer Nancy Johansson said after the race. "He's a big growthy [sic] colt and there's a lot of money to be made toward the end of the season, so we just figured we were going to take our time and let him come into his own.

Winning his sixth race in 10 starts, Captain Crunch has earned $627,846 for owners 3 Brothers Stable, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms. Scott Zeron drove the colt by Captaintreacherous and paid $5.80 to win.

"The 3 Brothers asked if we wanted to go in on a colt with them," said Judy Chaffee, co-owner of Caviart Farms. "And we said 'Yes.' Once we saw him, we fell in love. Nancy always believed in him and we did too so it's been a thrill; it's been quite a year."

Southwind Avenger surged off a pocket trip to catch late-leader Chin Chin Hall and take the $435,900 Valley Victory final in 1:55.3.

Trix And Stones stepped to the top while driver Dexter Dunn crossed Southwind Avenger over into the pocket ahead of post-10 starter Reign Of Honor in third. By the quarter in :28.2, Trix And Stones soon endured pressure from 2-1 favourite Seven Hills advancing uncovered after failing to get to the cones around the first turn. The two met strides by the half in :58.2 before Seven Hills broke stride into the turn.

Now uncovered, elimination winner Chin Chin Hall marched towards the other elimination winner while Southwind Avenger angled off the cones from third by three-quarters in 1:27.2. Chin Chin Hall powered to control into the stretch while Southwind Avenger, when given racetrack, hit his best strides approaching the wire. The Richard "Nifty" Norman-trained gelding by E L Titan stuck his neck in front at the wire to hand Chin Chin Hall second. Reign Of Honor took third from Trix And Stones fourth.

"Nifty's done a wonderful job bringing him along," co-owner David Mc Duffee, who also owns runner-up Chin Chin Hall, said after the race. "There's one thing about Nifty: he's never in any hurry. He takes his time and lets them develop. When they're ready, he's ready. Dave Miller drove him last week and I'm sure he would've been happy to keep him. But he had loyalty to the Dalton gang and we were happy to have Dexter [Dunn] available."

Returning $32.40 to win, Southwind Avenger won his second race from 11 starts and has earned $365,965 for owners Mc Duffee, Melvin Hartman and Little E LLC.

Prescient Beauty sat the pocket past the half but, once given racing room in the stretch, uncorked a swift late sprint to down pacesetter Zero Tolerance and world-champion Warrawee Ubeaut in the $391,250 Three Diamonds final.

Driver Doug McNair dashed to the top with the filly by Art Major while Beautyonthebeach floated into second ahead of Alkippe third. Zero Tolerance advanced uncovered through a :27.1 opening quarter and eventually cleared command into the backstretch.

Warrawee Ubeaut, racing fifth, edged first over passing a :55.1 half and reeled closer to the tempo setter circling the final turn. Zero Tolerance slowed the pace to three-quarters as Warrawee Ubeaut matched strides in 1:24 before the two engaged in a sprint duel to the wire. The two matched strides through the lane while McNair veered wide with Prescient Beauty into the final eighth and lunged quickest to the wire in the 1:50.4 mile. Zero Tolerance held second from Warrawee Ubeaut settling for third. Stablemate Beautyonthebeach took fourth.

"They raced good-they've had a few problems here and there but they kept going," trainer Gregg McNair said of Prescient Beauty and Beautyonthebeach. "I listed [Doug] on Prescient Beauty but I think [Beautyonthebeach] might be the better mare next year but this year [Prescient Beauty] seems like the stronger mare. I wish Jimmy [Avritt Sr.] was here but he knew the weather was going to be rough like this and he said 'I'll just watch from home.' I like to say hello to him and thank him for sending us these fillies."

Winning her fifth race in 13 starts, Prescient Beauty, a homebred for owner James Avritt Sr., has earned $449,752. She paid $11.00 to win.

Floating towards the top past the quarter, Sonnet Grace withstood late-race pressure from Evident Beauty and Princess Deo to win the $490,000 Goldsmith Maid in 1:54.2.

Away fourth through a :28 opening quarter, driver Yannick Gingras angled Sonnet Grace off the cones and progressed towards leader Stella Jane entering the backstretch. The Ron Burke-trained filly by Muscle Massive cleared command before a :57 half while Evident Beauty, positioned fifth, tipped first over heading to the final turn and drew within a length of the lead as they passed three-quarters in 1:26.2.

Evident Beauty dug into the leader through the lane but hanged in her bid. Princess Deo, from second over, fanned three wide into the final eighth and began closing ground late as Sonnet Grace fought at the pylons. Princess Deo slid past Evident Beauty nearing the wire to take second but finished a neck shy of Sonnet Grace.

"Ernie Martinez called me about four months ago and said 'the horse might be for sale' but I said 'I don't think they sell," Howard Taylor, co-owner of Sonnet Grace who purchased the filly from Rod Allen, said. "I said 'try to buy 'em if you can and I'll get it covered.' And he couldn't get it done. But after she broke in the [Pennsylvania] Sires Stakes final I just said 'you know, Ernie, call 'em again and maybe they'll sell her. And they did.

"Rod Allen's a hell of a horseman and shout out to him because he did a great job getting her broke and trained down. But we got lucky."

Owned by the Sonnet Grace Stable, Sonnet Grace won her seventh race in 12 starts this season, earning $414,847. She paid $6.40 to win.

On the undercard of the stakes program Foiled Again made his final Meadowlands appearance in a $12,500 Auld Lang Syne invitational written in his honour and finished fourth to Roger Mach Em in a 1:51.4 mile. Foiled Again, age 14, has over $7.6 million earned on his card and prepares for his required retirement on Dec. 31 with only four starts remaining on his farewell tour.

"We kind of came up together," driver Yannick Gingras said of Foiled Again after the race. "He's an overachiever there's no doubt about that with the tremendous career he's had. Back in 2007, 2008 when I started driving him I think my career took off at the same time as his and he's been an extreme pleasure and he's been great for my family and the sport in general.

"It brings goosebumps to me all the time when I drive him now. You see even with the rain in the post parade people were taking videos of him; it's amazing. He's the toughest horse I've ever seen and there's no doubt he's the toughest horse I'll ever drive. I don't think I'll ever drive another one as tough as he is."

Foiled Again will race next on Dec. 2 at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland followed by Harrah's Philadelphia on Dec. 9, Woodbine Mohawk Park on Dec. 22 and then at trainer Ron Burke's homebase at The Meadows on Dec. 31.

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