OKAY…I just watched the latest Creed 2 preview before writing this, but it does seem fitting to state Lazarus needs to find a way to lift himself off the canvas at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday.
Like Rocky Balboa and his protégé Adonis Creed, the former Kiwi superstar has to overcome obstacles as he continues a bitter rivalry in the $430,000 Breeders’ Crown Open Pace.
Scratched from the Dan Rooney Invitational Pace a fortnight ago, Lazarus will head into the feature without the benefit of some solid ‘sparring’ according to trainer Jimmy Takter.
“His blood work has been going in the right direction, but I’d like to have another start in him,” Takter said. “The Breeders’ Crown was my goal the whole year, but I didn’t count on him being sick after Lexington.”
Drawn to settle forward from ‘corner’ two, Lazarus will renew his rivalry with outstanding performer, McWicked.
The pair have met four times, with the tally square at two a piece!
Their most recent clash saw McWicked score in 1:46.2 – just two-tenths of a second outside Always B Miki’s world record.
McWicked, which captured the Dan Rooney Invitational Pace in Lazarus’ absence, will begin from gate three.
McWicked is the early favourite at 5/2, with Lazarus on the second line of betting at $3.
Victory will see Lazarus – which was a $50,000 supplementary entry into the Breeders’ Crown – gain an invitation to next month’s TVG Series Championship at The Meadowlands.