Sears Sweeps Scioto Stakes

Published: September 9, 2017 10:14 pm EDT

Driver Brian Sears swept the stakes at Scioto Downs on Saturday, September 9, strolling in the $125,000 Jug Preview with Downbytheseaside in 1:51 and sliding to victory in the $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial with Mcwicked in 1:49.3.

Advancing towards leader Drunk On Your Love through a :28.2 opening quarter, Downbytheseaside grabbed the lead turning into the stretch first time. He remained in front through splits of :56.2 and 1:24.1 while turning away a first-over challenge from Sports Column circling the final turn. Downbytheseaside was strong on the lead, finishing clear of Filibuster Hanover, who kicked off cover to take second, and Sports Column, who faded to third.

Downbytheseaside, the Somebeachsomewhere three-year-old out of the Allamerican Native mare Sprig Hanover, won his ninth race in 13 starts this season and his 17th in his 26th start overall, earning $1,595,822 for owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and Diamond Creek Racing. Trained by Brian Brown and driven by Brian Sears, he paid $2.10 to win.

"It's great to win at home," Brian Brown said. "We're a little bit relieved - he wasn't at his best last week. We'll give him an easy week here next week and then train him up more toward the end of the week and then he should be ready to go. We plan on winning [the Jug]."

Mcwicked, trained by Casie Coleman, rallied from off the pace to best late leader Rockin Ron in the Jim Ewart Memorial.

Sitting eighth at the quarter, Mcwicked parked the mile riding cover from third over while Luck Be Withyou set a quarter in :26.1 before yielding to Mel Mara approaching the half, timed in :54.2. Rockin Ron, tracking Mel Mara entering the backstretch, then made his move to the front, kicking away as Mel Mara faded at the rail and Boston Red Rocks carried Mcwicked into contention second over.

Past three-quarters in 1:21.3, Rockin Ron led by several lengths into the stretch. Mcwicked angled to the inside of Boston Red Rocks as he rallied into contention, diving up the passing lane after Rockin Ron as he shortened in stride to the line. Mcwicked edged past coming into the final strides to win by a half length with Rockin Ron second and Boston Red Rocks finishing third in a dead-heat with Check Six, who rushed into contention down the center of the track from off cover.

Mcwicked, a six-year-old son of Mcardle out of the Western Ideal mare Western Sahara, won his seventh race in 21 starts this season and his 22nd race in 68 starts overall, earning $2,105,037. Leased by Edward James, Mcwicked paid $8.60.

"There was a little movement, but I thought the fractions were a little slow," Brian Sears said. "I thought I might need to see a half in :53 or even better to have a shot, but I knew my horse has a really nice move to him; I've had the opportunity to race him a couple of times. He's good with a trip and he fires home if [I] don't overuse him.

"[At the top of the stretch] I thought I had second locked up. My horse kept digging - he was a little lazy at times, but once I got into him, he really responded and fired down the lane."

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