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HARNESS RACING - World champion Lather Up and defending champion McWicked headline a group of nine entrants for this year's $525,000 Canadian Pacing Derby.
The entry box for Canada's oldest harness stakes race closed Tuesday morning with nine older pacers entered. Eliminations will not be required for this year's edition of the Canadian Pacing Derby and all nine will compete in the $525,000 final on Saturday, August 31 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
The entrants for this year's Canadian Pacing Derby:
Lather Up, the co-fastest Standardbred of all-time, will return to the site of his richest victory and attempt to add another lucrative victory to his dream season. The four-year-old captured last year's $1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Park and earlier this season matched Always B Miki's world record of 1:46 at The Meadowlands.
Trained by Clyde Francis, Lather Up is undefeated in six career starts at Mohawk Park. The son of Im Gorgeous is currently riding a four-race win streak, which includes victories in the Dan Patch, Sam McKee Memorial, Haughton Memorial and Graduate Series, to bring his season record to eight wins in 11 starts and career record to 23 wins in 36 starts.
A 50 per cent interest in Lather Up was recently purchased by Taylor Made Sales and Stallions, who owned last year's `Pacing Derby' runner-up Lazarus N.
The ownership group of Lather Up consists of his breeders Gary & Barbara Iles, George Teague and Taylor Made Stallions. The four-year-old currently sits at $1.7 million in career earnings.
Casie Coleman trainee McWicked is returning to defend his `Pacing Derby' title. The eight-year-old captured last year's edition in convincing fashion en route to being named the Horse of the Year in both Canada and the US.
McWicked continues to add to incredible legacy with over $500,000 earned this season to bring his career earnings to $4.5 million for owner Ed James' S S G Stables. The superstar pacer led all Standardbreds in earnings last season, becoming the oldest horse in 43 years to top the money standings. He is also the oldest horse in harness racing history to receive Horse of the Year honours.
The Coleman trained McWicked most recently captured the Roll With Joe last Sunday afternoon at Tioga.
Lather Up and McWicked have competed against each other five-times this season. The season-series currently favours Lather Up, who has scored victories in four of those five meetings.
Ron Burke trainee This Is The Plan heads towards the Canadian Pacing Derby with plenty of momentum on his side. The four-year-old gelding captured last Sunday's Prix D'Ete at Hippodrome 3R in a Canadian record of 1:49.1.
This Is The Plan's only other victory this season came against four of his `Pacing Derby' rivals in the $500,000 Ben Franklin at Pocono. He sports the second highest seasonal earnings in the field with $651,868 collected in 13 starts.
Done Well and Filibuster Hanover join This Is The Plan to make up a trio of competitors in this year's edition from the Burke barn.
There are plenty of local hopefuls joining McWicked in this year's `Pacing Derby. Dr. Ian Moore trainee Casimir Richie P, Blake MacIntosh trainee Courtly Choice, Richard Moreau trainee Jimmy Freight and Carmen Auciello trainee Western Fame will all compete in the $525,000 contest.
Courtly Choice captured last year's Little Brown Jug and tuned up last Saturday for the `Pacing Derby' with a 1:49 victory in the Preferred at Mohawk Park. He's won three of 10 stars to this point in his four-year-old campaign.
Casimir Richie P has quietly risen to the Preferred ranks during his four-year-old season, posting six wins in 15 starts.
Despite just one win this season, Jimmy Freight has banked more than $250,000 in 11 starts. The four-year-old's lone victory came in the Mohawk Gold Cup and he's also finished second in the Confederation Cup and Battle of Lake Erie.
Levy Series winner Western Fame ranks third among the nine entrants in seasonal earnings with $551,400 earned in 13 starts this season. The six-year-old joined the barn of Auciello for his most recent effort, a second-place finish to Courtly Choice in last Saturday's Preferred.
The nine entrants in this year's Canadian Pacing Derby have combined career earnings of $14.2 million.
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