Day At The Track

Wicket Elphaba melts stopwatches at Honedale

02:06 AM 06 Aug 2013 NZST
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Erv Miller, harness racing
Erv Miller set a track record driving Wicked Elphaba to a 2:01.2 victory Sunday at Honedale Fair.

HONESDALE PA - Right about now, Tanah Merah Farms LLC owner Richard Kulle may be talking to his trainer about using this "E. Miller" fellow in the sulky more often.

"E. Miller" is of course famous trainer Erv Miller, who yesterday became Honesdale track-record-setting trainer/driver Erv Miller after he guided Wicked Elphaba to a 2:01.2 score in a division of the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes three-year-old filly pace, a Honesdale divisional track record and three seconds faster than any other race on the card, reserved for sophomores.

Wicked Elphaba, a daughter of Western Terror named after the "bad witch" played by Margaret Hamilton in The Wizard of Oz and a combination of the initials of Oz's writer L. Frank Baum [el/ph(f)a-ba] , had shown herself quite capable on the circuit, with a 3-1-1-1 scorecard, but the teaming with Miller produced the bewitching clocking, and a 28.3 last quarter, that not only beat Keystone Wanda, a 13 length winner at Clearfield on Thursday, but also eclipsed the northeast PA oval's mark for her class, set by DVC Elegant Beauty just over five years ago, by a single tick.

On the colt side of the sidewheeling action, veteran PA fair star Roger Hammer gave further evidence that his barn is heating up, taking two of the three divisions, including the fastest in 2:04.2 with Camturo Beach, a Somebeachsomewhere gelding he also trains and owns. Hammer's other winner was the Nuclear Breeze gelding Enjoy The Ride, also a full hometown Hammer production; the third cut went to Skylite's Finale, an Allamerican Native gelding who defeated a third Hammerite, Falcon's Breeze, to go one point up atop the divisional leaderboard over his stablemate in the Steve Schoeffel barn, Jungle Of Terror (who had been second to Camturo Beach).

In the trotting contests, the stars were the Cantab Hall colt Markup Hanover, who defeated Roe Is Me in 2:05.4-29 for the fastest diamondgaited mile of the session; and the trainer/driver team of Syl King Jr. and Marc Mosher, who swept the filly trots with Chrissy O and Homepage (the latter defeating Monroe County).

FINISHING LINES - Continuing an innovative formatting experiment, Honesdale will today finish the fair portion of its 2013 program with a card for two-year-olds starting at 2 p.m., featuring the sensational trotting colt Ruiz. They will then draw for the "2-day meet" portion of their action Tuesday (box closes at 10), with racing Wednesday (3 p.m.) and Thursday (noon) giving them four cards within five days ... Waynesburg will be drawing tomorrow (Tuesday; box open until 11) for their two harness racing cards on Thursday and Friday, which will begin (please take note) at 10 a.m. both days.

by Jerry Connors

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