Weekend harness recap

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

December 2nd, 2014

A glimpse at three results from the Meadowlands and Dover Downs over the weekend highlighted two successful bids to clinch divisional honors while the third perhaps ended another horse's chances at one major title.

When Sweet Lou captured the $500,000 TVG Free-For-All Pacing Championship in handy fashion in 1:48 to conclude a season in which he won 11 of 19 starts and earned well over $1.3 million, the Ron Burke trainee secured his title as champion aged pacer for 2014 and perhaps gave him a modest, outset chance to garner pacer of the year honors from the unbeaten freshman filly sensation, JK She'salady who is the favorite to capture pacer of the year and horse of the year. Sweet Lou could not have ended his campaign and his career - he will stand stud in Pennsylvania next year - on a better note, but a late-season skid perhaps curtailed his chances of taking home pacer of the year and horse of the year.

That same night at the Meadowlands, Sebastian K simply watched his chances for trotter of the year and horse of the year fade with him through the stretch of the $500,000 TVG FFA Trotting Championship as Intimidate (Scott Zeron) rolled by him in the lane to edge Market Share (Tim Tetrick) to score in 1:51.2. Like Sweet Lou, Sebastian K perhaps peaked during the summer and his midseason drought likely cost him any hopes of being trotter of the year or horse of the year. He should still take home the Dan Patch Award for champion older trotting male, but some voters might opt for Intimidate, who also defeated Sebastian K earlier this year at Mohawk.

But even if Sebastian K maintains his status as champion older trotter for 2015, his name will likely get lost in the shuffle now among the three-year-olds and one freshman in the chase for trotter of the year. Father Patrick concluded his campaign by taking the Breeders Crown final for three-year-old colt trotters, ending a modest skid of his own when he failed to win either the Hambletonian or Kentucky Futurity. Nuncio won both the Kentucky Futurity and the Yonkers Trot  and the Matron and was second to Trixton in the Hambo, but he was third in the Breeders Crown. Freshman filly trotting star Mission Brief won nine of 13 starts and was giant when she stayed flat, as evidenced by her sharp score in the Breeders Crown after failing as the favorite in several other lucrative stakes.

Then on Sunday evening at Dover Downs, McWicked (David Miller) brushed to command before the half and held safe favored JK Endofanera (Yannick Gingras) to capture the $35,000 Progress Preview by two lengths in 1:48.4, eight days after he had taken the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands for trainer Casie Coleman. McWicked will look to secure the title of champion three-year-old colt pacer this Sunday in the $300,000 Progress final when he tackles JK Endofanera and two other Ron Burke trainees, Big Boy Dreams and All Bets Off in the compact field of six sophomore pacers.