06/17/2017 8:10PM

Mohawk: McWicked shines in Gold Cup Invitational

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McWicked improved to two-for-two since rejoining the Casie Coleman barn

McWicked got a second-over trip from David Miller and rallied by leader Nirvana Seelster late to claim victory in the C$100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational for male pacers on Saturday evening.

Nirvana Seelster (Trevor Henry) did most of the heavy lifting in the event, carving out an opening quarter in 25 4/5 before briefly yielding to Dr J Hanover (Doug McNair).  Henry wanted the lead back immediately after Dr J Hanover cleared, and he was able to regain it before putting the half on the board in 54 2/5.

On the far turn it was Dealt A Winner (Brian Sears) trying it first-over out of the fourth position, but he was only able to get to Nirvana Seelster's wheel as three-quarters went up in 1:22.  McWicked had been following Sears's helmet, but Miller fanned him wide as the field entered the stretch.

In the lane Henry began to urge Nirvana Seelster as Dr J Hanover came back to the outside and Dealt A Winner retreated, but Dr J Hanover, who had set a Canadian record of 1:46 4/5 in his last start north of the border, had little to offer and Nirvana Seelster remained clear.  McWicked, who was three-deep, began making noticeable inroads into the margin in the final eighth, though, and he would join and then overtake Nirvana Seelster in deep stretch, winning by three-parts of a length in 1:48 2/5.  Great Vintage (Yannick Gingras) was up for third, followed by Shamballa (Scott Zeron) and Dr J Hanover.

The victorious 6-year-old McArdle stallion is trained by Casie Coleman for owner S S G Stables.  This was McWicked's 20th career victory, and he has now earned C$1,928,866.  McWicked was dispatched as the 7-5 favorite and paid $4.90 to win.