by Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
Lexington, KY — Catapulting off cover, McWicked rushed to the lead into the stretch and maintained control over Lazarus N lunging late to take the $179,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Open Pace, sponsored by Muscara Standardbreds, in 1:46.2 on Saturday (Oct. 6) at The Red Mile.
Driver Brian Sears placed McWicked in fourth as Jimmy Takter-trainee Western Fame flew to the front and posted a :26.1 opening quarter as stablemate Lazarus N was parked about seven lengths from the lead in sixth. Western Fame soon yielded for the pocket when Heaven Rocks A, parked from third, brushed for command and posted a :52.1 half.
Heaven Rocks A continued on the lead rounding the final turn while Filibuster Hanover, shuffled to third, flushed first over and supplied cover to McWicked second over and Lazarus N third over. Filibuster Hanover rolled to the lead past three-quarters in 1:19.1 as Sears revved McWicked three wide.
Lazarus N gave chase to McWicked in the stretch with about three lengths to recoup entering the eighth pole. The New Zealand-import hit his best stride nearing the wire but still finished a length shy of his rival in second. Filibuster Hanover held third from Rockin Ron rallying into fourth.
A 7-year-old stallion by McArdle out of the Western Ideal mare Western Sahara, McWicked, owned by S S G Stables, won his eighth race from 15 2018 starts and his 30th from 89 overall, accruing $3,375,376 in earnings. Casie Coleman conditions the $5.00 winner.
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