Trainer Casie Coleman has announced on Facebook that 2018 Horse of the Year McWicked will be standing at Winbak Farm of Ontario in 2020. His fee will be $6,500 (Canadian). He is also being syndicated.
McWicked was retired from racing following the TVG Open at the Meadowlands on Nov. 23. His career earnings totaled $4.93 million.
McWicked's fifth-place finish in the TVG Open Pace championship at The Meadowlands brought the curtain down on the 8-year-old stallion’s award-winning and record-setting career. The horse was honored in the Big M winner’s circle, where owner Ed James, Coleman, and driver Brian Sears gathered in a light rain to offer their thoughts about the 2018 Horse of the Year.
“He’s been a real special horse for me,” Sears said. “He’s raced against the best his whole career and brought us a lot of special moments, that’s for sure. The last couple falls in Lexington, those were some great races, but he’s done some tremendous things throughout his career. He’ll be real hard to replace.”
McWicked, a son of McArdle out of Western Sahara, won 40 of 110 career races. He is the richest pacing stallion in North American harness racing history and second to only gelding Foiled Again on the all-time money list.
This season, McWicked won six of 17 races and $1.03 million. It was his third million-dollar season, putting him in the company of Foiled Again as the only pacers with three million-dollar campaigns.
Last year at age 7, McWicked became the oldest pacer in history to receive Horse of the Year honors from the U.S. Harness Writers Association. He led the sport in earnings, with $1.57 million, and became the oldest horse in 43 years to top the money standings. He also broke Foiled Again’s earnings record for a 7-year-old, which was $1.40 million in 2011.
McWicked’s victories included two editions each of the Breeders Crown (at ages 3 and 7), Jim Ewart Memorial, Dan Rooney Pace, and Allerage Open Pace. He also won the Ben Franklin Pace, Max C. Hempt Memorial, William R. Haughton Memorial, Canadian Pacing Derby, Delvin Miller Adios, TVG Open Pace, Progress Pace, and Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial.
He won the 2018 Allerage at Lexington’s Red Mile in 1:46.2, which is the third-fastest winning race mile in history.
Throughout his career, McWicked battled throat and foot issues.
“He’s tough as nails,” Coleman said. “He just refuses to lose and gives everything he’s got right to the wire every week. I’ve never been disappointed with the horse.”
James, whose SSG Stables has owned McWicked since late in his 2-year-old season, made the decision to retire the stallion two days prior to the TVG, which was won by Always A Prince in 1:48.2. (with files from USTA)