McWicked tops Lazarus N in Can. Pacing Derby
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McWicked, with a first over trip, overtook 1-5 favorite Lazarus N, the Wonder From Down Under, with an impressive stretch move to win Saturday’s $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Trained by Casie Coleman for SSG Stables, the seven-year-old son of McArdle added to his more than $3-million in purse earnings while providing Coleman with her first Canadian Pacing Derby title and driver Dave Miller with his third.
Filibuster Hanover and Nirvana Seelster powered off the gate with the former marking the opening quarter in :26.4. Lazarus N, pacing in third position in rein to Yannick Gingras, brushed to the front down the backstretch to make the half in :55.1.
Lazarus N, purchased by Taylor Made earlier this year, had won 36 of 46 starts and accumulated $2.8 million in earnings heading into the Canadian Pacing Derby. However, his lead through the final turn was under serious threat as Mcwicked, in range and powering up, had the measure of Lazarus and opened up with conviction to secure the upset win as the 7-2 second choice in 1:49 flat. Lazarus N held on strong for place over Split The House.
"It’s a great feeling. It’s a great race to win, a lot of tradition and a lot of money," said Miller. "You can’t take nothing away from him. A first-over grind into Lazarus, I wasn’t too confident around the last turn, but I got into the stretch and my horse felt really strong. I asked him, and he did the rest."
Coleman finished second in the 2012 edition of the Canadian Pacing Derby with Betterthancheddar and was thrilled to go one better on this night.
"I’ve always wanted to win this race," said Coleman. "I was second with Betterthancheddar once but was never able to win it."
McWicked, who banked $300,000 for the Canadian Pacing Derby win, overcame more than just a Down Under champion.
"He’s been off a few weeks and I never told anybody but he’s coming off a quarter crack and that’s the reason he was scratched from the qualifier," said Coleman. "When he was first-over coming onto Lazarus, I wasn’t overly happy, but it worked out great. Dave said the scary part is how easy he did it. He said he was just absolutely phenomenal and had lots left."
At age seven, McWicked is showing no signs of slowing down.
"He was great as a three-year-old and won everything I put him in pretty much," recalled Coleman. "At four, it was a tough year for him. He made $200,000 but he didn’t have a win. I lost him for awhile and he came back, and he’s just been phenomenal the past couple years."
Coleman is looking forward to seeing her star pupil continue to battle with the ‘Wonder From Down Under’ as the season continues.
"It’s going to be a fun season. I was having fun without Lazarus, it was a little bit easier competition. There’s going to be some exciting racing, we’re paid into everything and I’m sure he’s paid into everything. I’m sure we’ll see each other a lot coming up this summer," said Coleman.
The runner-up finish by Lazarus drops ‘The Wonder from Down Under’ to one for two in North America. The Pacing Derby was his first start since winning the Dan Patch at Hoosier Park on Aug.10.
"He raced good, just a little tired finishing," said Gingras of Lazarus’ performance. "He needs some racing. The other horse is a good horse and went a big mile and you’ve got to give him credit, but I think my horse needs a couple starts."
McWicked, bred by Andray Farm of Pennsylvania, paid $9.70 to win. (WEG)