Day At The Track

Saturday line-up for $250,000 Carl Milstein

12:36 PM 15 Aug 2020 NZST
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Catch The Fire, harness racing
Catch The Fire and driver Mike Wilder
Nigel Soult Photo

The $250,000 Carl Milstein Memorial goes to post this Saturday August 15 at MGM Northfield Park. The race is for eight 3-year-old pacers and is Northfield Park's premier racing event. An invitational only event, is slated as race 10 on a 16-race program which carries a 6 p.m. first-race post time. The feature is slated for approximately 9:35 p.m.

This year's Milstein Memorial program carries total purses approaching $600,000. The program includes the $50,000 Myron Charna President's Pace, a race for older Ohio-sired pacers (by invitation only), two $50,000 divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes for 3-year-old trotting colts, two $50,000 divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies, as well as a $14,500 Open event.

A $20,000 Early Pick-4 guaranteed pool starts in race seven and includes both the Charna and the Milstein, and the late Pick-4 beginning in race 11 has a $10,000 guaranteed pool.

For FREE Daily Racing Form past performance lines check out the Northfield page on DRF.com by clicking here https://promos.drf.com/northfieldpark2020

Here is a look at the eight contenders:

#1 CATCH THE FIRE has been named the 2-1 morning-line favorite. The son of Captaintreacherous enters the Milstein fresh off an August 1 victory in the $375,000 Adios at The Meadows, located near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1:49.3. That time was equaled the week prior with a victory in the Adios Elimination. He has five races this year and has paced sub-1:50 in each. The John Ackley trainee has banked $466,413 in purses throughout his young career and drew the rail in Saturday's main event. Catch The Fire is Buckeye owned by C T Stables LLC of Washington Court House, and is trained by Ohioan John Ackley. They will use Catch The Fire's regular pilot Mike Wilder to drive.

#2 ODDS ON OSIRIS, the 2019 Indiana Sires Stake Champion, drew post two and is the 7-2 second choice. This son of Rockin Image just missed in his most recent race, getting nipped at the wire in 1:48.4 in an Indiana SS event. This top Hoosier performer has won eight of 13 lifetime starts and has earned $375,395 for owner Odds On Racing of Boca Raton, Florida. Peter Wrenn will drive for his wife, trainer Melanie Wrenn. His 1:50.3 lifetime mark was paced as a freshman at Hoosier Park and was equaled this year, just two starts ago with an Indiana SS victory.

#3 ELVER HANOVER the 2019 Ohio Sires Stakes champion drew post three and is the 4-1 third choice. Undefeated through nine starts as a freshman, Elver Hanover now has won 10 of 13 career efforts, with earnings of $422,700. Harness racing's all-time leading trainer in both money and wins, Ron Burke, conditions this gelding for owners Burke Racing Stable, B. Jablonsky, J. Melillo and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby. Burke won the inaugural Carl Milstein Memorial with All Bets Off. Chris Page will drive this son of Yankee Cruiser. His 1:48.3 mark was paced last year in a World Record performance at The Red Mile.

#4 STANFORD COURT has proven himself a major presence in the Ohio stakes scene this year. This colt, by Knob Hill High, is trained at the historic Delaware County Fairgrounds by Brian Brown, who won the 2017 Milstein with Downbytheseaside. He is owned by R. Mondillo & Rich Lombardo Racing, Hen-Shaut Stable and Lightning 5 Racing Stable. He has won four of six starts this year, with two runner-up finishes. This colt has career earnings of $186,710 and a 1:50.1 mark paced two starts ago at Scioto Downs. One of MGM Northfield Park's top-reinsmen, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., will drive this 6-1 morning line selection.

#5 SLIPPIN THE CLUTCH is an Iowa Fair phenom, winning 10 of 14 races last year and seven of eight so far in 2020. This colt, by Millionaire Cam, enters this race for trainer Curtis Carey, who raced another Iowa Fair monster, Minnie Vinnie, in the 2018 edition of the Milstein and finished third at odds of 55-1. This is the second time Slippin The Clutch will leave Iowa, he was a runner-up last September at The Red Mile, pacing in 1:50.4. This horse is owned by J. De Long, R.and C. Huffman and T. Carey. MGM Northfield Park's leading driver Aaron Merriman, who has also won multiple North American dash titles, has been given the driving assignment. He sports a 1:57.2 mark on a much different surface that he will race on tonight. This colt has lifetime earnings of $56,635 and carries a 15-1 morning line.

#6 MANTICORE is a stakes veteran trained by Bruce Saunders, who also campaigned 2010 Little Brown Jug Champion and Horse of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven. This colt by Western Ideal is owned by M&L of Delaware LLC and M&M Harness Racing LLC. Northfield Park regular, Chris Lems, has been named to drive this 12-1 shot. Manticore has three wins to his credit, earning $244,056 and posting a mark of 1:50.2 (Q) at the Meadowlands on July 31.

#7 CHIEF MATE is trained by Tony Alagna, one of the sport's best, who also campaigned Chief Mate's sire (and sire of #1), multiple stakes winner Captaintreacherous. Alagna just notched the biggest win of his career this past Saturday when his trotting pupil Ramona Hill won the $1,000,000 Hambletonian. Chief Mate has won six of 19 career starts, earning 197,794. He posted his 1:50 mark last month at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. This colt was an impressive runner-up in this year's Adios and carries a 10-1 morning line.

#8 OCEAN ROCK 8-1, has nine wins in 15 lifetime starts. This son of Rockin Amadeus enters this event off two straight wins facing the best in the Buckeye State. Driver Dan Noble's father, Sam "Chip" Noble, a legendary Ohio horseman, trained Ocean Rock's dam, Ocean Pearl, during her career for owner/breeder Sandra Burnett. Ocean Rock's 1:48.4 lifetime mark was paced last month and is a track record at Scioto Downs. He boasts $285,677 in earnings and is trained by Christi Noble. Christi, Dan's wife, is expecting their first child any day.

by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

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