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McWicked Set For ‘Crown’ Clash

Published: October 23, 2019 11:26 am ET

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McWicked, Canada’s reigning horse of the year, has won a pair of high-end tilts heading into this Saturday’s (Oct. 26) Breeders Crown $655,000 Open Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and trainer Casie Coleman has said that the $5 million career earner appears to be in good form heading in.

“The horse is coming in sharp, healthy, sound, everything seems good,” Richard Mauntah of The Sun has quoted Coleman as saying. “He’ll have to work a bit harder from Post 8, but he’ll be fine.”

On Tuesday (Oct. 22), Coleman was in attendance at the press conference that Woodbine Mohawk Park assembled for the Breeders Crown finals, which will be contested this coming Friday (Oct. 25) and Saturday (Oct. 26) at the rural Milton track. For more on the press conference and the post position draw results, click here.

McWicked, who is an eight-year-old son of McArdle, was sensational when he flew to a 1:47.2 win in the Allerage at the Red Mile on October 5. He followed that up a week later (on Oct. 12) with a closing, 1:51.1 win in the $250,000 Dan Rooney over the half-mile Yonkers Raceway.

McWicked, pictured soaring to victory in 1:47.2 in the 2019 Allerage at the Red Mile in Lexington, KY.

McWicked’s regular driver, Brian Sears, will steer the 40-time career winner from Post 8 in the Breeders Crown Open Pace, which has been carded as Race 6 Saturday night and is expected to head behind the starter at approximately 9:16 p.m.

“We wish we drew a bit more inside, no doubt,” said Coleman, who went on to add, “but he’s been out there before (starting from the outside post positions in big races).”

The two-time O’Brien Award winner will have his work cut out for him Saturday, but Coleman is hoping that her charge will be up to the task, which could lead to some year-end accolades in a few months’ time.

“He’s got a good chance to be Pacer of the Year,” Coleman said. ‘So we’ll try to get this crown and cap that off.”

On Wednesday, the United States Trotting Association also published a story on McWicked in which Coleman was quoted as saying, “He’s an amazing horse, no doubt,” and that, “There are not too many horses that have done what he’s done, and to keep doing it at his age. You really wouldn’t know this horse is eight years old.”

Coleman, who trains McWicked for Ed James’ S S G Stables, went on to say, “He’s got a lot of big, tough miles under his belt; it’s not too often he has an easy race. Every time he goes behind the gate, they’re pacing (1:) 47, (1:) 48, (1:) 49. He’s definitely an unbelievable horse.”

“Everything has been great,” Coleman said about the horse’s preparation for the race. “I trained him (Tuesday) and he was awesome. He’s sharp, sound, healthy. I’m very happy with how he is coming in."

This weekend’s Crown finals will be contested over the course of two evenings. The four finals for the two-year-olds will be contested Friday (Oct. 25), while the three-year-old finals and open races will be showcased on Saturday (Oct. 26).

McWicked will be in action Saturday, but not before Allywag Hanover (PP2, Ti. Tetrick, 15-1) can represent Coleman’s stable Friday in the lucrative Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Colt Pace. The dash has been programmed as Race 9 (10:41 p.m.) and will also feature the impressive Papi Rob Hanover (PP3, D. Miller, 8-5), Tall Dark Stranger (PP7, Y. Gingras, 2-1) and Capt Midnight (PP5. McCarthy, 3-1).

Allywag Hanover is by Captaintreacherous and has won three of his eight starts this season (each of the victories have come in lower-conditioned levels at Mohawk). The colt will be hosting Tim Tetrick in the sulky for the first time on Friday and has received some welcomed post relief. Allywag Hanover had started from posts nine and ten in his last two starts and will be looking to thrive from the left side of the starter. Allywag Hanover is scheduled to line up in Post 2.

Program Pages (courtesy of TrackIT)

Program Pages (courtesy of TrackIT)

(With files from The Sun and the USTA)

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