McWicked, Alarm Detector impress in Mohawk qualifiers
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A pair of O'Brien Award winners had their game faces on during Friday morning's qualifiers at Woodbine Mohawk Park, unleashing strong miles resulting in open-length victories.
Harness racing's Horse of the Year on both sides of the border for 2018, McWicked made his 2019 Canadian debut after a sharp late-April qualifying mile at Pompano Park. With Louis-Philippe Roy at the controls, McWicked watched from third as Shadow Of Lindy (Jody Jamieson) opened the mile with a :29 quarter. Roy right-lined McWicked from third and floated to the front before tripping the half-mile marker up by three lengths in :57. The older pacing star then hit another gear, opening up to a lead of more than six by the third quarter, reached in 1:24.2. McWicked continued to pull away from his rivals with each stride to the wire. The time of the mile was 1:53.1 and the margin of victory was more than 10 lengths.
While the track was listed as 'good' and assessed a two-second variant, trainer Casie Coleman noted some additional factors that the chart lines don't show with respect to the mile.
"He went well, big head wind in the homestretch," Coleman told Standardbred Canada. "Louis said he came around the the last turn and it felt like a tornado hit him in the face."
McWicked (Mcardle - Western Sahara) will likely make the first start of his eight-year-old season next Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The S S G Stables-owned stallion banked more than $1.6 million in 2018 with a summary of 12-3-2 from 19 starts.
Making his first appearance as a four-year-old, trotter Alarm Detector tore up the track in the morning's next qualifier with an equalli vicious mile. Driver Trevor Henry sat in third with Alarm Detector through a :29.4 opening quarter and :58.2 half posted by Cruising In Style (Sylvain Filion). Alarm Detector was on the move and pressuring Cruising In Style as the third station was reached in 1:28.3, and the O'Brien Award winner hit the afterburners turning for home to hit the wire nine lengths the best in 1:58.2.
Alarm Detector (Chapter Seven - Final Countdown) is trained by Ben Baillargeon for owners Tom & Elizabeth Rankin, Claude Hamel and Santo Vena. Rankin told Trot Insider earlier this year that Alarm Detector received I.R.A.P. (Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein) therapy this off-season to help with some issues that might have been impacting his performance as a sophomore. (SC)