Day At The Track

Erv Miller hopes to take Trolley to Beal final

09:25 AM 25 Jun 2016 NZST
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Trolley
Trolley
Curtis Salonick Photo

Although Southwind Frank sports the divisional crown and rightfully so, he is surrounded by harness racing rivals seeking to snatch that glistening accessory on every occasion he places a hoof upon the track. In this Saturday's (June 25) $25,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial eliminations at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Trolley tosses himself into the fray, to not only derail the champion's journey to the Hambletonian, but to launch his own bid to sport the crown.

"He already thinks he is the king of the barn," said Erv Miller, the colt's conditioner. "I'm standing in front of his stall right now (Thursday, June 23) and I already had to put three or four boards higher on it than what is normal for the other horses because he always tries to jump over it to get out. He is trying to talk and play with everyone else in the barn to let them know he's there."

A son of Donato Hanover and the Duke Of York mare Lakeside Bride, who is a half-sister to stakes-winner King Conch, Trolley was purchased for $30,000 by Paymaq Racing, Leland Mathias, Greg Gillis and Louis Willinger at the 2014 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The royally bred colt, whose granddam, Conch, is a daughter of the legendary Bonefish, may not have acquired a legion of devoted followers due to his brief career (3-2-0-0, $43,501), however, his connections are confident he will stake his claim for the throne when he begins trotting from post position three in Saturday's ninth race with Marcus Miller guiding him.

Trolley, despite being lightly raced, is 6-1 on the morning line, but will have to face stiff opposition in Southwind Frank (post position eight, 5-2), Love Matters (post position two, 3-1), Bar Hopping (post position six, 4-1) and Lagerfeld (post position four, 5-1) to advance to the $500,000 final on July 2.

The colt certainly merits attention as he defeated 2015 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Lagerfeld in his only performance this season at Pocono and also outlasted Earn And Burn, who is out of a full sister to millionaire Dejarmbro, for his maiden breaking score last year at the same venue.

"He has done everything we have asked of him," Miller said. "We also have very high hopes for him. After that race last year, he came out of it with what we thought was a foot abscess. When it did not come out, we found a small spot on his coffin bone that we thought might have been bothering him so we just gave him time. He's a big, strong horse and has came back very well. We have a schedule planned for him, but he will tell us where to go whenever he is ready."

Trolley is short on experience but Miller feels his natural ability and mind will allow him to ascend to the elite ranks of his division. His trainer's only question is if he can manage the horse appropriately. That speaks volumes coming from a trainer with Miller's resume.

"Our concern is keeping him sound," Miller said. "He's a healthy horse so that's not the issue, but he is just such a good-feeling animal. We worry he is going to tear himself up in the barn with all the energy he has.

"The other day he was out running in the paddock and just enjoying what he was doing so much I had to go out there and stop him. He is a well-mannered horse, but he just puts everything into anything that he does. Once he actually starts racing more, rather than take that kind of activity down a notch, I'm wondering if he will go the other way and think even more of himself."

The colt is staked to all the engagements his colleagues will be contesting throughout the year, but Miller will be cautious regarding in which spots Trolley performs.

"He is eligible to everything," Miller said. "We do believe in him because he is a very nice horse. We put him on the lead in his first (stakes) race and he did it, then finished. In his second race, he sat right in the pocket for us without being asked and made his move on his own. Not many horses, especially trotters, with limited experience have enough of a mind to do that for you.

"We are very pleased with him and are very excited for not only this race, but the rest of the season. It's all up to him. We just have to listen to what he says and keep him happy."

Below are the fields for the two Earl Beal Jr. Memorial eliminations on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

$25,000 7TH RACE ELIMINATION:
 
1, Brooklyn Hill by Muscle Hill,  David Miller, Jonas Czernyson;
 
2, Dayson by Conway Hall,  Jim Morrill Jr., Ron Burke;
 
3, Milligan's School by Yankee Glide,  Andy Miller, Julie Miller;
 
4, Jimmy William by Cantab Hall, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter;
 
5, Jack Vernon by Muscle Hill, Tim Tetrick, Randy Beeckman;
 
6, Dupree by Andover Hall, Ãke Svanstedt, Ãke Svanstedt;
 
7, Reigning Moni by Donato Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter;
 
8, Truemass Volo by Muscle Massive, Eric Goodell, Doug Hamilton;
 
9, Hollywood Highway by Muscle Massive, John Campbell, Staffan Lind.
 
$25,000 9TH RACE ELIMINATION:
 
1, Dice Man by SJ's Caviar,  Ãke Svanstedt, Ãke Svanstedt;
 
2, Love Matters by Explosive Matter,  Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter;
 
3, Trolley by Donato Hanover, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller;
 
4, Lagerfeld by Yankee Glide, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter;
 
5, Iron Mine Bucky by Explosive Matter, George Dennis, Greg Haverstick;
 
6, Bar Hopping by Muscle Hill, Tim Tetrick, Jimmy Takter;
 
7, Promise Delivered by Muscle Hill,  Andrew McCarthy, Staffan Lind;
 
8, Southwind Frank by Muscle Hill, Gingras also listed, Ron Burke;
 
9, Leggs Matter by Explosive Matter,  David Miller, Robert W. Clark.
 

Ken Weingartner

 

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