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McWicked Surfaces At Pocono

Published: May 21, 2015 1:43 pm ET

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Dan Patch and O’Brien Award winner McWicked recorded the first charted line of his four-year-old campaign on Thursday, May 21 during the qualifying session at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Last season’s three-year-old pacing colt of the year on both sides of the border stepped out onto Pocono’s five-eights-mile course for Race 2 on Thursday. The Casie Coleman- trained son of McArdle did so with his regular pilot, David Miller, in tow. The bay lined up in Post 5 for the six-horse tilt and went to the front as the wings of the starting gate folded.

Over a track rated as ‘fast,’ the career earner of $1.6 million in purses cruised past the opening quarter-mile station in 28 seconds. He followed up his early effort with an easy second quarter of 30 seconds and clicked off the opening half-mile timer in :58.

Miller asked McWicked to pick it up a little in the third quarter of the dash, and he responded by pacing a :27.1 third quarter, whizzing by the third call in 1:25.1.

Putting forth another :27.1 quarter to cap off his mile, McWicked came home with a :54.2 back half and tripped clock at the wire in 1:52.2 for the gate-to-wire win. The final margin of victory was three and a quarter lengths over Shadowbriand (driven by Joe Pavia Jr.). The rest of the field finished well behind.

From 23 starts last season, McWicked raced to a record of 12-5-4 for owner Ed James’ S S G Stables. James announced earlier this year that, in 2015, McWicked will be racing for the ‘Stable of Horses That God Loves,’ which has been gaining consistent traction ever since it was announced in early February. The members of the Stable That God Loves will contribute one per cent of their 2015 purse earnings to the Standardbred Racetrack Chaplaincy of Canada. For more on the ‘stable,’ click here.

McWicked was a multiple stakes winner in 2014 with victories in the Hempt and the Adios, among others, before capping his season with his impressive Progress Pace victory. He earned three months off after the Progress before Coleman started back with him in the Sunshine State.

Another notable from Pocono’s Thursday qualifying session was the five-year-old Broadway Hall mare Frau Blucher, who is closing in on $1 million in career purse earnings. With Pavia in tow, the bay sat the pocket in Race 7 and popped out for a neck victory in 1:55.1 for trainer Chris Oakes.

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