Day At The Track

Muscles Network upsets Nuncio in Valley Victory Trot

01:40 PM 01 Dec 2013 NZDT
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David Miller.jpg Muscle Network, harness racing
Dave Miller drives Muscles Network
Muscle Network wins the Valley Victory Trot
Photo by Michael Lisa

Muscles Network picked the perfect spot to win his second race of his young career as the 7-1 mild long shot beat the ½ favorite Nuncio to win the $494,750 Valley Victory Trot final at the Meadowlands Saturday in 1:55.1.

Odds On Amethyst (Tim Tetrick) was first to show with Southwind Spirit (Yannick Gingras) in the two-hole but that was short lived as Southwind Spirit moved right out to take the lead by the opening quarter mile in :27.2.

Once settled on the front end, Southwind Spirit had to give way to the race favorite, Nuncio and driver John Campbell as they took command with a burst of speed well before the half mile in :56.2. It was then that driver David Miller came out of fifth place and started moving first-over with Muscle Network and slowly worked their way up the leaders by the three-quarters in 1:25.3.

Muscles Network was not only able to collar Nuncio starting down the stretch, but looked him in the eye and went on by, winning by a half length with a late closing Southwind Spirit come on for third place.

"I came out last week and trained him," Miller said of Muscles Network. "And he trained very well so I thought it had a shot. It looked like John had a lot of horse but my horse felt strong on the turn and he got by John's horse. It was not a huge last quarter but he got the job done."

Sired by Muscle Hill, it was just the second lifetime win for Muscles Network. He is trained by Jonas Czernyson and owned by Frank Bellino and Sons, LLC of Bronxville, NY. He now has earnings in 2013 of $300,000. At odds of 7-1, Muscle Network paid $17.00 to win.

"I have only had him for two weeks," said trainer Jonas Czernyson. "So I cannot take too much credit for this. We trained him and a couple of little changes. It worked out pretty good. I think he is going to be a pretty nice three-year-old. I think he could be in the Hambletonian.

By Steve Wolf for


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