Perfect Alliance and driverhave formed a perfect partnership so far this year.
A 4-year-old female trotter, Perfect Alliance is 2-for-2 this season as she heads into Thursday's scheduled first leg of the Charles Singer Memorial Series at the Meadowlands. She is the 7-5 favorite in the second of two opening-round divisions. Time To Quit, who won theSeries and is unbeaten in three races this year, is the 4-5 choice in the first division.
Last year, Perfect Alliance won one of 14 starts and earned $66,967. She had nine different drivers during the campaign and never had the same driver in consecutive races.
She was trained by Robert Bencal last year, but moved into the stable ofthis season.
"I think having Andy to drive her has been an asset,"said about her husband. "I talked to Bob Bencal and he said she was getting a little hot behind the gate (last year). I think she really likes having one driver all the time rather than getting catch drivers who maybe don't know her as well."
Perfect Alliance comes into the Singer off a win from post 10 at the Meadowlands on Feb. 7. She raced on the outside the entire mile, but finished with a :28.1 final quarter-mile en route to a three-quarter-length victory in 1:54. She won her first start of the year, also at the Big M, by 7-1/2 lengths in 1:53.3.
"Her first two starts were pretty impressive," Miller said. "Her last start at the Meadowlands out of the 10 hole, she got pretty roughed up and then got a flat tire and still was able to go on. I was really impressed with her effort. She's really rounding into form and I expect good things from her."
Perfect Alliance is a daughter of stallionout of the mare Yalta Hanover and was purchased for $75,000 under the name Perfect Deo at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale.
Her mother is a half-sister to stakes-winners Yursa Hanover, He's Spooky and Scary Good. She is a three-quarter sister to Thistle Dhu, who ironically edged Perfect Alliance by a nose in the $40,000 Zweig Memorial Consolation for 3-year-old filly trotters.
Another of Yalta Hanover's half-sisters, Yassi Hanover, is the mother of Jurgen Hanover, who won last year's Empire Breeders Classic for 3-year-old male trotters.
"She's got everything going for her; a great pedigree line, great conformation and a great attitude," Miller said. "There's not much more you could ask for with a trotter.
"What I'm really impressed with are her manners. She's easy on herself. She's a huge mare and she's got a great gait to her. She does it with ease, and that's what you want. Not to exert a lot of energy but get great results. I'm just really happy with her."
Perfect Alliance is owned by New Meadowlands Racing Chairman Jeff Gural, Meadowlands General Manager Jason Settlemoir, David Stolz and Arthur Geiger.
"Luckily we got her and she's just done everything we've asked of her," Miller said. "We're going to stake her to a few things for the mares, but that will probably be about it. I think the TVG Series and trying to race against the boys is just a little bit too much for her, as of right now. But we're really high on her this year."
by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications