Day At The Track

Elizabeth Miller Memorial RUS race held

09:52 AM 03 Oct 2019 NZDT
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Sophie Engerran, harness racing Jim Taggart, Jr. Road Untraveled, harness racing
Sophie Engerran rides Funny Photo to victory
Geri Schwarz photo
Jimmy Taggart, Jr. scored five winners on Wednesday
Geri Schwarz photo
Jimmy Taggart, Jr. with Road Untraveled
Geri Schwarz photo

Monticello, NY -  Monticello Raceway held the 3rd Annual Elizabeth Miller Memorial on Wednesday afternoon 

Elizabeth was the matriarch of the prominent Miller clan of New Berlin NY who have raced in central NY for decades. Elizabeth was active for many years at the Otsego County Fair and served as secretary of the New York Sire Stakes as well as tending the family's dairy farm and harness racing operation.

The memorial race was a RUS (Racing Under Saddle) event with 4 horses going in behind the gate. As the gate sprung RCS Ready PP3 (Hillary Hartnett) and Funny Photo PP4 (Sophie Engerran) trotted in tandem and went stride for stride with each other with RCS Ready cutting the mile with Funny Photo parked on the outside.

The duo passed the quarter in 30.2 and the half in 1:01. RCS Ready began to tire going into the clubhouse turn the second time, but the fit Funny Photo had plenty left in reserve despite being parked to the half. Sophie Engerran keep the 10-year-old son of Classic Photo on the bit and had 4 lengths on the pack when she reached the ¾ marker in 1:34.

Their lead continued to increase coming down the stretch and won in 2:06.4 by 10 lengths, trotting the last quarter in 32.4. Railroad Lane (Cathy Gearwar) rallied in the lane to finish second, with RCS Ready 3rd.

Funny Photo is also trained by Sophie Engerran and is owned by Enge Training Stable LLC of Stillwater NY.

Jim Taggart Jr. dominated the harness racing card Wednesday winning five races on the afternoon, four of the victories came in consecutive races.

The win streak started in the second half of the early daily double in race 2 aboard Road Untraveled from the rail, the Dave Dziengiel trained son of the recently deceased Stallion Grimfromeartoear notched his 9 win of the year, scoring in 1:57 ($3.80)

Natalie Hanover was up next from post position 6, she worked hard to make the front end but once she did, she cruised to a win in 1:59 ($4.90) Needles And Pins also started from the rail had a similar trip as Natalie Hanover and scored in 1:58 ($5.00), the 11 year old gelding by Village Jove scored his 5th seasonal win for trainer Anthony Regina.

Race 5 saw Lightupbullville bull his way to the front end and never looked back, scoring an easy 7 length win and the fastest mile of the day in 1:56.3 ($2.80) for longtime Monticello Raceway trainer Murray Bassen for owners Gray Thunder II Stables of New Rochelle NY.

After a brief 2 race hiatus, he scored with former Monticello Raceway Horse of the Year Warrawee Preferred, the 8-year-old gelded son of Federal Flex is trained by Gary Messenger and won it 1:57.3 ($4.00) and is on the cusp to eclipse over $225,000 in lifetime earnings.

The 49-year-old Taggart currently is in second place in the Monticello driver's colony with 184 wins, trailing leader Michael Merton with 203 wins, rounding out the top 3 leading dash winners is Austin Siegelman with 143.

For full race results and entries click here

by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

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