McWicked gets No. 2 post for Adios

July 22, 2014
The Meadows Racetrack announcer Roger Huston, left, and director of racing Kevin Decker reveal the draw for Saturday’s $400,000 Adios. - Joe Tuscano / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

MEADOW LANDS – The chances for McWicked to win Saturday’s $400,000 Adios dramatically improved Tuesday afternoon when he drew the No. 2 post for the nine-horse field at The Meadows Racetrack.

McWicked, with David Miller in the sulky, won one of last Saturday night’s elimination races in a time of 1:50.4, the slowest of the three winners but coming on a slow track.

“Way back before the North America Cup, in my mind, I felt McWicked was the best 3-year-old in harness racing this year,” said Roger Huston, track announcer who will call his 38th Adios Saturday. “He’s not let me down one iota. He didn’t win the North America Cup but he was very competitive. He went up and won the big race at Pocono in world record time. That was his last start before last week. And last week, he dominated his division. So nothing has happened for me to change my mind McWicked would be the favorite regardless of the post positions. The post positions will probably determine if he is 2-1, 5-2 or 3-1 on the morning line.”

The Adios is the 12th race on a 16-race card, beginning at approximately 4 p.m.

“It’s going to be one heck of a horse race,” said Huston. “I’m predicting a world record of 1:47.0.”

The son of McCardle and Western Sahara, McWicked is owned by the SSG Stables and trained by Casie Coleman. In 17 starts, he has seven victories, seven second-place finishes and $573,447 in winnings.

McWicked has won four of his last five starts – including the $500,000 final of the Hempt at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs – losing only in the final of the North America Cup.

The other two elimination winners – Somewhere in LA and Let’s Drink On It – drew post positions 5 and 7, respectively. Locally, Ron Burke has two entries in the race in At Press Time, who will have Matthew Kakaley in the sulky, and Carracci Hanover, who will be driven by Yannick Gingras. At Press Time will leave from the No. 3 post and Carracci Hanover from the outside No. 9.

Gingras was in the sulky when Sunfire Blue Chip won last year’s Pace for the Orchids in 1:48.3.

Cammikey, driven by Brian Zendt for his father and trainer Bill Zendt, drew the rail. Cammike is owned by Cam Land Inc. of Washington and whose bloodlines go back to Western Hanover, the all-time money-producing sire of all equine breeds.

Dave Palone, the winningest driver in North America with more than 16,000 victories, will take Bushwacker out for trainer Christopher Ryder of Henderson Farms in Chicago.

“The horse that might get overlooked … is Let’s drink On It,” said Huston of the horse trained by Joseph Seekman. “Tyler Smith, the driver, might possibly be the youngest driver to drive in the Adios. He’s only 21 and he’s only been driving for five years. He’s done quite well at Northfield (Cleveland), Sciota Downs (Columbus) and Hoosier Park (Anderson, Ind.). He’s won two straight – the Meadowlands the other night and here in the eliminations – and this is a horse that went wire-to-wire in his elimination and Smith said he races better from off the pace. … If anyone is going to upset McWicked, I would have to say Let’s Drink On It.”

Jimmy Takter will try to win his third Adios in the past six years. He won with Vintage Master in 2009 and Sunfire Blue Chip last year.

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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