12/07/2014 8:49PM

Dover: McWicked dominates in Progress Pace

McWicked has earned $1,472,937 in 2014.

McWicked and driver David Miller captured the $301,560 Progress Pace at Dover Downs on Sunday night and he did it the hard way. The streaking son of McArdle had to rough it, not just facing formidable opposition from the Ron Burke stable but going overland without cover to score in 1:48 4/5.

The race set up with an early speed duel as J K Endofanera, the second choice in the compact field of six, left hard from post two and displaced Big Boy Dreams from the rail through the first turn for command. The quarter was a swift 25 4/5 for driver Yannick Gingras and J K Endofanera. McWicked, the 3-5 favorite, left as well from between horses but settled in third midway through the opening bend.

“The one and two were leaving pretty good out of there,” said Miller after the race. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in this horse.”

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Indeed Miller sat chilly as J K Endofanera cut the half in a rated 54 1/5, but with Somewhere In L A moving on the outside heading into the second turn, Miller pulled McWicked and took up the chase for the front.

McWicked and J K Endofanera accelerated the pace through the third quarter on relatively even terms through a 1:21 3/5 clocking, but once off the final bend McWicked put it in overdrive and drew clear by more than a length. J K Endofanera didn’t go away, holding strongly for second with Somewhere In LA finishing third.

It was the third straight major stakes victory for the Casie Coleman trained colt, owned by Edward James’ S S G Stables. McWicked could race next in the Cleveland Classic on Friday at Northfield Park.

“That was really a gutty performance,” said Miller. “He fought the whole way tonight. He was tremendous.”

It was the 12th win of the year for McWicked and likely locked up a Dan Patch award as the sport’s leading three-year-old male pacer. McWicked has earned $1,472,937 during his impressive three-year-old campaign.