Day At The Track

2YO American-National Trots at Balmoral Park

03:24 PM 16 Sep 2014 NZST
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Erv Miller, harness racing
Erv Miller has two going in the colt division
Mark Hall/USTA Photo

Crete, IL --- A pair of American-Nationals for 2-year-old trotting colts and fillies will be contested Wednesday night (Sept. 17) at Balmoral Park.

In the $57,200 Am-Nat for fillies, trainer Homer Hochstetler will harness a pair of contestants, while in the $73,000 colt division, two youngsters will carry the colors of conditioner Erv Miller.

Fresh off a trio of championship victories on Illinois Super Night (Sept. 13) at the Crete, Ill., one-miler, Miller sends out two lightly-raced freshmen: the gelding Jake Quaider and the colt SS Poseidon. This pair will face off against seven rivals in the one mile test, slated as the fifth race on the program.

The latter is a son of Muscle Hill-Silverstar Volo who has earned $56,460 to date for the partnership of Paymaq Racing and Shim Racing LLC. Most recently he finished third, beaten only two lengths, in a $10,000 Kindergarten leg at The Red Mile on Sept. 11, clocked in 1:57.2 for driver LeWayne Miller.

“They got away with cheap fractions early at Lexington and he was too far back and really didn’t get into the race until late,” Erv Miller said. “His best race was definitely the Reynolds at Tioga (Downs).”

In the Reynolds on Sept. 4, Miller’s son Marcus steered SS Poseidon to a 1:57.1 lifetime best in wire-to-wire fashion, utilizing a :28.3 final brush to secure his first career triumph.

“This colt is a homebred that Mike (Anderson of Paymaq Racing) and the Shim partners bred,” Miller offered. “They own the mare. He’s been a real easy colt all along to deal with. He does his work right and has a super attitude.”

In just seven career starts SS Poseidon also has a trio of second-place finishes and one third to his credit, and has never missed getting a purse check for these connections. He also had two fifth-place finishes in his first two pari-mutuel starts at the Meadowlands, in a $20,000 Peter Haughton Memorial elimination and the $355,500 Haughton final.

SS Poseidon is the first foal out of the unraced Andover Hall mare Silverstar Volo.

Miller’s other youngster, the Photo Color-Grace Elizabeth gelding Jake Quaider, is owned by Quaid Racing LLC and has amassed $11,780 in three starts. He won his Balmoral debut on Aug. 31 in 1:57.4 by 2-1/2 lengths for driver Casey Leonard, and also has one second and one third-place finish to his credit.

“The owners bought him as a weanling right off the farm from Kevin Miller,” Erv explained. “A few years ago they owned his sister, Maevey Gravy, who was a very nice 3-year-old. This colt was small and immature and we’ve been waiting on him a little bit. (Trainer) Mike (Arnold) got some jog miles into him over the winter and he’s just now learning how to trot. I think he’s got speed, but he just needs some more time to mature.”

Jake Quaider is the fifth of six foals out of the Credit Winner mare Grace Elizabeth 2,2:09.2h ($19,503), and is a half-sister to Maevey Gravy (by Northern Kid) 3,1:55 ($190,110) and Graceful Spirit (by Psychic Spirit) 3,1:58.3 ($29,981).

To date Miller has conditioned 4,541 winners to $66,845,174 in career earnings. Most recently he added an additional three Super Night Championships to his tally, bringing his crown total to 25, more than any other trainer in Illinois history.

Trainer Homer Hochsteter sends out two fillies in the seven-horse distaff division, slated as race four. Fox Valley Harrah, owned by the Hunter family’s South Of The Track Racing, Inc. is a daughter of Pizzazzed-Hallie Rose who has earned $13,930 to date and will be looking for her first career triumph from the rail in the seven-horse field.

Purchased for $5,700 from the 2013 Walker Standardbred Sale, Fox Valley Harrah has one second and one third in six lifetime trips postward.

“Dr. Hunter and his son looked at her at the sale and she was not expensive, so we bought her,” Homer explained. “She’s been alright to work with and has had a few issues but overall she’s been okay. Her strong suit is racing off a helmet and she’s able to finish her miles very well. She’s not big on leading the parade but she’ll follow all day long. Her best race so far was at Springfield.”

At the Illinois State Fair at Springfield on Aug. 14, Fox Valley Harrah trotted to a strong, second-place finish in rein to Matt Krueger, clocked in 1:58.1, with a :28 final brush.

This filly is out of the unraced Sir Taurus mare Hallie Rose, and is a full sister to Fox Valley Hosana 2,1:59.2 ($52,530) and has half-siblings in Demeter (byCredit Winner) 2,1:59.2 ($75,346) and Fox Valley Helena 2,1:59.2 ($58,385).

Hochstetler’s other charge is a homebred daughter of Powerful Emotion-Black N Bluegenes that the trainer and co-owner Robert Buddig christened Persuasive Look. A winner of $36,630 from just six starts, Persuasive Look has been on the board every time, with one win, two seconds and a trio of thirds.

“She’s been sound all year,” Homer offered. “I don’t think we’ve seen the best out of her yet. She’s just been ultra-consistent and steady and you can do about anything with her. At this point she’s probably better tagging along rather than leading, but she’s a very nice trotting filly.”

Persuasive Look’s lone but impressive win came on July 27 at Balmoral, when she captured the $44,000 Fox Valley Flan Stake in 1:58.2 for driver Casey Leonard. She used a :28.1 final brush to nudge between a pair of rivals, including Fox Valley Yoko, who is also in this event, to prevail by a length.

Persuasive Look is the third foal out of the Muscles Yankee mare Black N Bluegenes, and is a half-sister to the mare American Empress (by American Native) 4,1:58.2f ($57,171).

Hochstetler, 62, of Crete, Ill., has conditioned 1,663 winners to $18,919,443 in his career. He’s also driven 1,407 winners to $11,695,279 in career earnings and is recognized as one of the top trotting trainers in the Prairie State.

by Kimbery Rinker, for Balmoral Park

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