Day At The Track

McWicked impressive in qualifier

06:26 AM 25 Apr 2019 NZST
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McWicked,Harness racing
Reigning Horse of the Year, McWicked, captures his first qualifying event of 2019 in 1:51.2
USTA/Mark Hall photo

Hightstown, NJ — McWicked, who was the 2018 Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada, returned to the track Tuesday (April 23) for his first harness racing qualifier of the season.

The 8-year-old pacing stallion and driver Wally Hennessey cruised around the five-eighths-mile oval at Pompano Park in 1:51.2, winning by 7-3/4 lengths over 3-year-old filly Prescient Beauty.

McWicked, trained during the racing season by Casie Coleman, has spent the off season with Jim McDonald.

“It looks like he went well,” said Coleman, who is based in Canada. “He’s leaving Saturday and coming back to me. I’ll probably qualify him again, but I’ll wait until I get him in the barn to decide what’s next.”

Honored for last season’s 7-year-old campaign, McWicked became the oldest pacer in history to receive Horse of the Year. He led the sport in earnings last year, with $1.57 million, and became the oldest horse in 43 years to top the money standings. For the season, McWicked won 12 of 19 races, capping his campaign with a five-race win streak, and hit the board a total of 17 times. He is owned by Ed James’ SSG Stables.

Prescient Beauty, who closed last season with a win in the Three Diamonds, also was qualifying for the first time, as was her Kentucky Sire Stakes champion stablemate Beautyonthebeach. Prescient Beauty was timed in 1:53 in her qualifier while Beautyonthebeach won her qualifier in 1:54. Both 3-year-old fillies were driven by Doug McNair and are trained by Gregg McNair. Jim Avritt Sr. bred and owns both horses.

 

by Ken Weingartner

USTA Media Relations Manager

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