EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Always B Miki, fastest harness racing horse of all time, easily won the $25,000 Open Pace at The Meadowlands on Oct. 21, a prep for the older division of male pacers' final next week. David Miller drove the champion again, winning in 1:48 for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christine Takter. Leaving from the 10 post (the 9 spot with the scratch of Art History), Miller took Always B Miki three wide around the first turn as Bushwacker, Luck Be Withyou, Bettors Edge and Americanprimetime fired hard to a :26.1 first quarter. As the shuffling continued among the four leavers, Always B Miki found a smooth path behind them as the half went in :53.4. By three-quarters in 1:21.1, Always B Miki was coasting down the stretch and easily won. Dealt A Winner was second and Artistic Major was third. By Frank Cotolo
The Grand Circuit meet at The Red Mile is behind us, and it was a classic. Whether you privilege the breathtaking speed embodied in Always B Miki’s 1:46 world record win in the Allerage Open or the historical significance of the triumph by Marion Marauder in the Kentucky Futurity that capped the first Triple Crown season in a decade, nobody can cite a lack of drama. As one might expect, Muscle Hill and Somebeachsomewhere, the dominant forces at the Lexington Selected Sale that paralleled the meet, also rode roughshod over the competition on the track. Muscle Hill’s progeny won eight stakes races/eliminations, while SBSW’s get won 15 of the same. This is in addition to the success they had in the late closers that filled out the cards. Muscle Massive and Donato Hanover were second to Muscle Hill with four stakes wins each, while Art Major played second fiddle to SBSW, also with four. Appropriately enough, Marion Marauder, our new Trotting Triple Crown winner, is a son of Muscle Hill. He won for Scott Zeron and the extended Wellwood family. This was the young stallions first Kentucky Futurity credit. The new speed king, Always B Miki, who won for David Miller and Jimmy Takter, is by the 12-year-old Indiana sire Always A Virgin, a successful regional stallion who has had limited exposure to the Grand Circuit. Miki broke the 1:46.4 race record shared by He’s Watching, Holborn Hanover, SBSW and Warrawee Needy as well as Cambest’s 23-year-old 1:46.1 time trial mark. Tim Tetrick won the most races at the meet: nine stakes and eight late closers. His most impressive win was Thursday’s 1:51.3 world record score by the impressive Chapter Seven freshman Walner for Linda Toscano and Ken Jacobs. This was only his fifth start, after taking two in the NYSS and a Kindergarten leg. He knocked a tick off of Southwind Frank’s 2015 mark. This colt is trending straight up. What Frank was to the 2015 meet, Walner was to this one. David Miller, who laid the foundation for his 2015 Driver of the Year award with a big closing day at last year’s Red Mile meet, may have done the same on Sunday with wins behind Darlinonthebeach in the Garnsey, Broadway Donna in the Filly Futurity and Always B Miki in the Allerage. Overall, he was second to Tetrick with seven stakes wins, in addition to scoring in a pair of late closers. Last year he sealed the deal with five wins on the Breeders Crown program at Woodbine two weeks after the Red Mile meet. Whether he recreates that feat at The Meadowlands this year or not, his numbers, in a season where he took the winter off, combined with the quality of his wins, make him the favorite to repeat as DOY. Andy Miller won five stakes, four of them for his wife Julie and one for Ross Croghan, as well as one late closer. Yannick Gingras also won five stakes, just as he did last year, but was blanked in the late closers this time. Corey Callahan, Brett Miller and Marcus Miller each had four stakes wins. The latter won three splits of the ISS on Saturday, all for his dad, with two of them, the SBSW filly Zane Hanover and the Art Major colt, Chip Walther, paying $189.80 and $84.80, respectively. Ake Svanstedt, Charlie Norris and Scott Zeron each had three stakes wins, with the latter also taking four late closers. Jimmy Takter topped all trainers with eight stakes wins, including that record mile by Always B Miki. Just as David Miller is primed to once again overcome Yannick’s earnings lead in the DOY contest, Takter may again overcome Ron Burke’s huge plurality in wins and money in the TOY race. Ron Burke had five stakes wins, including an upset in a Tattersalls split by the 20/1 Art Major colt, Stolen Glimpse, for Brian Sears. Last year Burke only won four of the high-dollar races, but he had eight second place finishes in them. On Sunday his Crazy Wow was second in the Allerage Open at 13/1, while Big Top Hanover was second in the Tattersalls Pace at 28/1. And Southwind Frank was nosed out by Marion Marauder in the Futurity. So the money was still rolling in. Julie Miller, Ake Svanstedt and Erv Miller each had four stakes wins, while Charlie Norris and Jim Campbell won three apiece. Tony Alagna, who had 5 stakes wins last year, including the Tattersalls Pace with Artspeak, had only 2 this time, although he did win 6 late closers. 54% of the stakes winners were bred in Pennsylvania, while 21% were from New York and 16% from New Jersey. Most of the latter are by Muscle Hill, who now stands in PA, and that must be taken into consideration. Ohio, Indiana, Florida and Ontario had one each, and one was by the French stallion, Love You. The Ontario SS Super Finals take place over the weekend so participation by that sector in Lexington is minimal. On the trotting side, there were eight for Muscle Hill, four each for Donato Hanover and Muscle Massive, three each for Cantab Hall and Credit winner, two for Andover Hall and the rest with one apiece. In 2015 Cantab Hall had 5 wins to 3 for Muscle Hill. As was the case this year three-quarters of the trot wins went to PA stallions. Somebeachsomewhere’s domination was more extreme than that of Muscle Hill. His progeny won 15 high-dollar stakes to four for Art Major and one each for all the rest. That amounts to a ridiculous 55% win rate for the 11-year-old son of Mach Three. This served as a marked contrast to last year when SBSW’s get had only three wins and New York pacing stallions dominated Pennsylvania by an 11 to 6 margin. American Ideal had no stakes credits this year, after accumulating four in 2015. Lots of juicy payoffs, aside from the pair from Marcus Miller and one from Sears/Burke already mentioned. The Crazed colt Shake It Off Lindy paid $29.60 for Tetrick and Antonacci in a Bluegrass split; the Yankee Glide filly Overdraft Volo paid $49.20 in another Bluegrass split for Andy and Julie Miller; the RNR Heaven colt Rock The Boat paid $38.20 in a Bluegrass division; the Credit Winner filly Bankette paid $73.60 for David Miller in a LC; the Donato filly Temple Ruins paid $30.60 in an ISS split for Brian Sears; and Gingras’ Cantab Hall filly Dancing IN The Hall paid $98.60 in a Filly Futurity elimination…. The most interesting winner was the Florida bred sophomore filly pacer Prairie Sweetheart, who was supplemented to the Allerage Mare and smoked her more accomplished foes in 1:49.1 for Matt Kakaley and Ross Croghan. Her sire, Royal Millennium, is an obscure 17-year-old son of Run The Table, whose granddam is a full sister to the great Sonsam. Prairie Sweetheart has won all 12 lifetime starts. There were some short fields, the Allerage Mare Trot had to be cancelled due to a lack of entries, and there was some wind and rain to contend with, but on the whole the record setting numbers at the sale were mirrored by some of the same on the track. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/. Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.
Always Be Miki fastest harness racing horse in history 1:46 26.1 - 52:2 - 1:19.4 - 1:46 LEXINGTON, KY-- Making his move for the top midway down the backstretch, Always B Miki set fast fractions before driver David Miller implored him through the stretch, advancing to win the $138,000 Allerage Farms Open Pace at The Red Mile in an all-time record mile of 1:46. Always B Miki got away third as Shamballa was sent to the lead through a :26.1 opening quarter. David Miller showed Always B Miki the whip and he rushed first over to claim command to the half, timed in :52.2. He continued his sprint around the far turn, passing three-quarters in 1:19.4 before being chased home by Shamballa and All Bets Off in the stretch. A five-year-old horse by Always A Virgin out of the Artsplace mare Artstopper, Always B Miki won his 27th race in 50 starts, earning $2,296,368 for owners Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter. He is trained by Jimmy Takter and paid $2.10 to win. "It's a moment I'm never going to forget," Jimmy Takter said. "You don't get horses like this for long, and it's definitely emotional to be around him. I can't wait to see him as a stallion. His personality and everything about him will be well-received through the sport. He's not the easiest horse because he had a lot of injuries, but what this horse overcame every single day nobody else did. "He has the Breeders Crown and TVG Final; those are the only two races left for him." "I really thought the three-quarters was maybe a little too slow," David Miller said. "But like I've said: he's an incredible horse and does incredible things. I couldn't be happier with him." Always Be Miki - World Record Circling by Frost Damage Blues and Lady Shadow as they battled around the far turn, Praire Sweetheart advanced to the front and defeated her older rivals to win the $112,500 Allerage Farms Filly & Mare Pace in 1:49.1. Lady Shadow set the pace, going fractions of :26.4 and :54.4 before receiving pressure from Frost Damage Blues, pulling first over from fourth, into the far turn. The two matched strides through a 1:22.2 third-quarter before Frost Damage Blues took the top. Lady Shadow retreated at the pylons while Prairie Sweetheart moved three wide, powering by Frost Damage Blues at the eighth pole. Prairie Sweetheart finished in front of Bedroomconfessions and Venus Delight, who stormed down the center of the track to finish second and third respectively. Prairie Sweetheart, a three-year-old filly by Royal Millennium out of the Masterman mare Taylors Lady, remained undefeated in 12 starts with her lifetime-best win. She has earned $155,024 for owner Let It Ride Stables Inc. and trainer Ross Croghan. Driven by Matt Kakaley, she paid $14.80 to win. We recently purchased her," Ross Croghan said. "I got a call from a friend of mine up at Pocono, and he said 'I just saw a filly that looked fantastic.' I watched the replay, and I had to agree with him, so I watched her again the next week, and the next week, and I just thought this filly has something special. "We actually purchased her the day before I was going to leave for the [Little Brown] Jug. I was going to be away for a month and I didn't want to be away from her for that amount of time, so I brought her with me. "We gave her a qualifier here last week just to see how she was and Matty [Kakaley] said she was super and that there were two seconds up her sleeve if he ever wanted to use it," Croghan also said. "I spoke to the owners, and they're both here enjoying the week in Lexington, so they opted to pop up with the supplement and watch the race, and it worked out in our favor." Prairie Sweetheart Flanagan Memory fanned off cover and trotted down the center of the track to take the $101,000 Allerage Farms Open Trot in 1:51.2. Jl Cruze was sent to the lead, clearing early race-leader Muscial Rhythm through a :27.2 opening quarter. After a :55 half, Jl Cruze braced the challenge of Obrigado into the far turn. They were stride for stride after a :21.4 third-quarter before Jl Cruze reemerged to the lead. Crazy Wow, tracking Obrigado from second over, edged three wide and trotted by Jl Cruze to take the lead before Flanagan Memory and Brian Sears rushed down the course to grab command. Crazy Wow took second, while Jl Cruze held third. A six-year-old horse by Kadabra out of the Yankee Glide mare Classy Stacy, Flanagan Memory won his 18th race in 65 tries, compiling $1,163,070 for owners Liette Flanagan and trainer Rene Dion. He paid $5.00 to win. "I was real happy to be third over," Brian Sears said. "I was just hoping Mark [MacDonald on Obrigado] went out a little bit and didn't wait too long for Ake [Svanstedt on Centurion Atm] to make a decision. This horse loves to finish up in the last quarter, so we were in a good position." "He has gotten better and better through the years. I was fortunate to drive him a year ago and win the [John] Cashman at the Meadowlands. He was a little disappointing in Canada a couple of weeks ago [in the Maple Leaf Trot], but I'm glad we're going in on a positive note; we have the International Trot coming up." Flanagan Memory By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
LEXINGTON, KY-- Darlinonthebeach kicked off her cover at the top of the stretch and sprinted to a 1:48.1 harness racing victory to win one of two divisions of the $213,500 Glen Garnsey Memorial on Sunday, Oct. 9 at The Red Mile. Getting away fifth as Penpal cleared command in :26.2, Darlinonthebeach flushed Rock Me Baby first over at the half, timed in :55. Blue Moon Stride, having brushed to the top after yielding to Penpal at the quarter, was challenged by Rock Me Baby at three-quarters in 1:22.1. Darlinonthebeach tipped off her cover at the head of the stretch and drew away from the field in the stretch. Kiss Me Onthebeach closed down the center of the track to take second, while Penpal slid up the pylons for third. A three-year-old filly by Somebeachsomewhere out of the Bettor's Delight mare Darlin's Delight, Darlinonthebeach won her 12th race in 28 starts, amassing $830,823 for owner White Birch Farms. Trained by Nancy Johansson and driven by David Miller, she paid $3.00. "It worked out just the way I wanted it to there," David Miller said. "We had a bit of a pace on the lead and she felt comfortable the whole way; felt like I had a lot of horse. She's an all-round professional; she's pretty handy and will do whatever you want to do. "She was a bit of a bully earlier in the year and we've worked with her. She has learned how to race and she's a big strong horse who can carry her speed really good. I couldn't be happier for Marcus and Nancy and all the connections with her. I've always been a big fan of her; I've been high on her all season. It started out a little rough, but I kept telling them it was going to get better." Darlinonthebeach Sent the 1-2 favorite, Pure Country stalled in her first over bid around the far turn before hitting her best stride and storming by pacesetter Call Me Queen Be to win the other division of the Glen Garnsey in 1:48.2. Leading through splits of :27.1, :55, and 1:21.4, Call Me Queen Be held an uncontested lead. Pure Country was first over but about two lengths off the lead at the top of the stretch, chasing Call Me Queen Be along with pocket-sitter Lakeisha Hall and Lindwood Beachgirl behind her. Pure Country drifted towards the center of the track as she edged past Call Me Queen Be to win. Winning her 18th race in 28 starts, Pure Country, a three-year-old filly by Somebeachsomewhere out of the Western Hanover mare Western Montana, has earned $1,649,968 for owner Diamond Creek Racing. She's trained by Jimmy Takter, was driven by Brett Miller, and paid $3.00 to win. "She's a pure champion," Jimmy Takter said. "It's not easy to stay at the highest [tier] throughout the year. She hasn't been undefeated, but at the same token, this has been a great, great group of three-year-old fillies this year." "She has been really good to us and we take it one race at a time," Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Racing said. "We'll make a decision [on her career] when the season's over." Pure Country By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
Tim Tetrick was the top driver at the first week of the Grand Circuit meet at The Red Mile; he won seven splits of the Bluegrass and five late closers. Last year, including both weekends at Lexington, Tetrick won six stakes and eleven late closers. His 1:52.3 win on Sunday over John Campbell and Per Henriksen’s tough 8/1 shot Blenheim, a Yankee Glide colt coming off a win in the Bucket, was one of the best races of the opening stretch. We should see both of them in Sunday’s Kentucky Futurity. Tetrick also had a good win with Huntsville on the rainy Saturday night card. The freshman Somebeachsomewhere colt, an already more fully realized version of his brothers Stevensville and Cowboy Terrier, was a handy 1:53 winner at 4/5 for owner-trainer Ray Schnittker. SBSW was the star pacing stallion with eight Bluegrass wins—six of them on Saturday night. Jimmy Takter’s colt Blood Line bottomed the field in 1:52.1 over the off track for David Miller as the 6/5 favorite. In similar fashion to Huntsville, he’s full to Blood Brother, who hasn’t fulfilled his early promise. Andy Miller had four Bluegrass wins, while Corey Callahan and David Miller had three each. The latter also had a pair of late closer wins. Last year David Miller’s performance at Lexington propelled him to his driver of the year award. He had a strong second week with wins in the Allerage Mare stakes with Color’s A Virgin and D’One as well as both splits of the Tattersalls Filly with Rock Me Gently and Divine Caroline. He won seven stakes and four late closers overall. Jimmy Takter is making no secret of the fact that he is sending Miller out to break the world record with Always B Miki in the Allerage Open. Whether that’s simply the 1:46.4 race record or Cambest’s twenty-three-year old 1:46.1 mark, we don’t know. Cracking either barrier would give Miller, who is having an excellent year, momentum in his quest for another Driver of the Year title. Brett Miller was the top driver in Lexington last year, with eight stakes wins and one late closer. After week one he has a single Bluegrass win, with the Art Major filly, Roaring To Go, who upset 1/9 Idyllic Beach in a $73,000 division, although he has captured four late closers. Two years ago money leader Yannick Gingras won sixteen stakes and four late closers at The Red Mile. That dropped to a more modest five and one, respectively, last year. In week one he won Bluegrass divisions with Jimmy Takter’s freshman trotting filly, Princess Aurora, and Ron Burke’s money machine Check Six. Yannick will be highly motivated in week two. Andy Miller won four stakes, three of them in conjunction with his wife Julie. He treated those who bet on him well as the freshman Yankee Glide filly Overland Hanover paid $49.20 on Friday and Ross Croghan’s Rock N Roll Heaven colt Rock The Boat paid $38.20 on Saturday night. Andy capped off his weekend with an eye opening win with the Donato Hanover colt Sutton on Sunday. The winner of the Zweig crushed his competition by four lengths in 1:52 at odds of 1/5. Sutton may add some excitement to Sunday’s Futurity. Newly minted Hall-of-Famer Brian Sears was saddled with dead stock and managed only one late closer win. Jimmy Takter, who led the trainers with four stakes wins, won 13 over the two weeks two years ago and seven last year. Two of his Bluegrass winners, Bar Hopping and Western Fame, should be players in the Futurity and Tattersalls, and you can bet he’ll have plenty entered in the ISS. Julie Miller had three stakes winners, which have already been mentioned, while Ake, Trond, Charlie Norris and Ron Burke had two each. The latter only had four last year, although he also had eight second place stakes finishes. He won nine in 2014. Muscle Hill led the trotters in stakes wins, with three on Thursday from freshmen Long Tom, Fly On and New Jersey Viking, and one on Sunday from Bar Hopping. Muscle Massive had three, a two-year-old colt and two fillies. Andover Hall, Cantab Hall and Donato Hanover had two each. On Thursday Dover Dan, a two-year-old Andover Hall colt out of the great CR Kay Suzie won a Bluegrass split in 1:55 for Corey Callahan and John Butenschoen. Suzie, who hasn’t matched her success on the track as a broodmare, is currently 24-years-old. The next day That’s All Moni, a freshman three-quarter sister to Snow White, won a stake in 1:54.4 at 4/5 for Tim Tetrick and Jimmy Takter. Celebrity Eventsy and Broadway Donna both disappointed on Sunday, and Ginny Weasley (Andover Hall) and Fad Finance (Credit Winner) picked up the pieces. On the pacing side, the SBSW filly Darlinonthebeach, who won the Shady Daisy and Valley Forge, put in a strong 1:50.2 mile on the front end for David Miller and Nancy Johansson. The Rocknroll Hanover filly Blue Moon Stride also won in wire to wire fashion for Andrew McCarthy and Mark Harder. Owner Emilio Rosati was ecstatic in the winner’s circle. And Mark MacDonald sent the lightly raced Western Ideal colt Western Fame, who recently won a Jug elimination, down the road and never looked back. He won a neck in 1:50.3 for Jimmy Takter. I can’t wait for round two. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/. Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.
ANDERSON, Ind.-September 25, 2016 - The majority of the members of the Hoosier Park audience were in attendance to witness a show of superb speed and unrivalled power. They certainly received what they traveled to the Anderson harness racing oval to witness, as Always B Miki paced yet another tour-de-force in a facile triumph in the $170,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. "I think he and Wiggle It Jiggleit are horses before their time," said David Miller, who steered the 5-year-old stallion through his mile. "They are just not like any other horses we have seen before. We will see other horses that come along like them as time goes on with their speed and how far they can carry it, but right now they stand alone." The overwhelming public selection at 1-9, Always B Miki and Miller left from the rail and went straight to the front. Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick were right on their heels from post position three as those two horses clicked off a first-quarter mile of :26.2. Miller and Always B Miki pulled comfortably away from Freaky Feet Pete to lead by a length at the half-mile pole in :55. At that juncture, Dealt A Winner with Aaron Merriman at the controls and Always At My Place in rein to Ricky Macomber Jr., made their bids for the front, with Dealt A Winner passing Freaky Feet Pete to take second and locking the 4-year-old stallion in the pocket. After three-quarters in 1:22.3, the six horse field entered in the stretch with Always B Miki and Miller still reigning supreme. As they were set down for the final push to the wire, Freaky Feet Pete's only option for victory was the passing lane, while it appeared Dealt A Winner and Always At My Place, had far too much real estate to cover to even draw even with the leader. Tetrick and Freaky Pete punched through the inside to give chase and despite a :25.4 final quarter panel on their part, it was simply not enough to relegate Always B Miki to their rearview mirror prior to the finish line. Miller and Always B Miki crossed the finish line in 1:48.2. Like Freaky Feet Pete, Always B Miki came home in :25.4, yet it appeared the stallion could have went much more swiftly if Miller had truly asked for what remained in reserve. After a valiant effort, Freaky Feet Pete was second with Always Bets Off rushing from sixth to claim the show position over the fading Dealt A Winner. Owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter, world and Indiana champion Always B Miki, is conditioned by Christina's husband Jimmy. The son of Always A Virgin-Artstopper, paid a paltry $2.10 for a trip around the Anderson oval that truly demonstrated his hooves step in rarefied air, with the exacta paying $4.20 and the trifecta $18.00. After the winner's circle festivities were complete, Miller solemnly stated what over recent months is beginning to become very obvious. "I have driven a lot of very good horses over the years," he said. "I've been doing this for a long time, but this horse has to rank up there with the best of them and he may be the best." **By: Kim French, for Hoosier Park**
Betting Line won the 71st Little Brown Jug, presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association, with a world record performance in the $577,000 harness racing event’s second heat Thursday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio. The Casie Coleman-trained Betting Line, who extended his win streak to 13 races with his Jug victory, stopped the timer in 1:49, equaling the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old pacer on a half-mile track. Wiggle It Jiggleit, a gelding, established that record last year at Harrington Raceway. Betting Line’s effort, though, was the fastest half-mile triumph ever by a colt. Betting Line, the 1-9 favorite in the second heat, took the lead from Western Fame just after the halfway point in the mile race for 3-year-old pacers and cruised to an eight length victory from there. Western Fame was second, followed by Dr J Hanover and Lyons Snyder. It was driver David Miller’s fourth career Jug win and the third for Coleman. “It was pretty easy,” Miller said after the second heat. “He was great both trips and I’m so glad for all the connections and the horse to win the Little Brown Jug.” Miller is among five drivers to win the Little Brown Jug at least four times. Billy Haughton and Mike Lachance lead the list with five apiece while Miller, Stanley Dancer and Ron Pierce have four. Coleman joined four other trainers with three Jug triumphs. Haughton tops the list with six victories. “I enjoy each and every one of them and this is really special,” Miller said. Earlier in the day, Betting Line and Western Fame won their respective first heats. Betting Line captured his division by 2-1/2 lengths over Lyons Snyder in 1:50.4 while Western Fame won by 1-1/4 lengths over Big Top Hanover in 1:50.1. But prior to the first heat, a controversy that had been brewing behind the scenes since early this morning came to a head. It involved a lost cell phone belonging to one of winning trainer Casie Coleman’s employees that was found on the backstretch with a message on it that trainers Ron Burke, Jimmy Taker and Tony Alagna brought to the attention of the judges because they interpreted it as a message directing her employee to give something to the horse this morning. Coleman explained that she was referring to yogurt that Betting Line gets twice a day. The three other trainers, who had nine of the 11 horses in the Jug, asked the judges to scratch the eventual Jug winner and protested Betting Line’s participation with a threat to scratch their horses if their protest was not accepted. As a show of their protest, the three other trainers demanded that Betting Line leave for the post parade five minutes earlier than the rest of the field for the first Jug heat. “The horsemen expressed their concerns to the Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC),” said the official statement from the Little Brown Jug following the race. “Little Brown Jug officials worked with the OSRC and the horsemen and we are pleased that the horsemen participated in our event. At this point it is an OSRC decision.” Betting Line has won 13 of 14 races this year and earned $1.37 million. He is owned by Coleman’s West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. “We’re just so excited he got the job done,” said Coleman, whose previous Jug victories came with Vegas Vacation in 2013 and Michael’s Power in 2012. “I love the Jug. Every single year I’ll be here supporting it as long as I have horses good enough. “Coming to Delaware, Ohio -- whether it be any horse, let alone a Jug or Jugette horse -- I’ve never seen a fan base this big. The crowd here deserves to see a good show and they do a great, great job here. I’m just fortunate that we’ve had horses good enough to compete in this race.” Betting Line is a son of 2001 Little Brown Jug winner Bettor’s Delight out of the stakes-winning mare Heather’s Western. He was purchased for $60,000 at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. The Little Brown Jug was the third jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown. The first, the Cane Pace, was won by Control The Moment while the second, the Messenger, was won by Racing Hill. "He is not probably the best horse, he is the best horse that I’ve ever trained," added Coleman. "There is no question and I have had a lot of nice horses. "I love all my horses. I don’t know what it is with this horse. It’s the wind he has. He just never gets tired after a race. There have been many times he has just been sitting, where I haven’t been a happy camper with where he has been sitting coming around the last turn and he just mows them down. "His heart. He just loves to win. I’ve never been able to train a horse this good and I don’t think many people have. Heart, intelligence, speed, it’s all a great combination. He’s just the perfect animal. "If there was one thing I could change on him, I would change nothing. He’s just an awesome animal. Ones like these don’t come along very often." Betting Line, Western Fame win Jug opening-round heats Betting Line won for the 12th consecutive time, capturing the first of two opening-round heats of Thursday’s Little Brown Jug by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:50.4 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Lyons Snyder was second, Dr J Hanover third, and Check Six fourth. Check Six set the pace for much of the mile, hitting the quarter in :27.1, half in :56, and three-quarters in 1:23.4. But by that time, first-over Lyons Snyder had pulled even and second-over Betting Line was ready to go three wide coming out of the final turn. Betting Line, who was fifth for the first three-eighths of the race before flushing the cover of Lyons Snyder prior to the halfway point, pulled away from his foes in the stretch and won comfortably for trainer Casie Coleman. “It worked out just kind of like I thought it would,” winning driver David Miller said. “(Check Six) left and I was able to pick up good cover. He actually took me farther than I thought he would. My horse was strong the whole way and anxious to go anytime I asked him. He finished up good. He was good and strong all the way to the wire.” Western Fame and driver Mark MacDonald controlled the race from post one, parking out favorite Racing Hill for much of the mile, on their way to a 1:50.1 win in Thursday’s second opening-round heat of the Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old male pacers. Big Top Hanover, Racing Hill, and Manhattan Beach rounded out the top four. MacDonald hustled Western Fame off the gate and protected the inside spot from Racing Hill, who started in post two. After reaching the quarter in :26.4, Racing Hill challenged Western Fame for the lead, but was unable to get to the front. He briefly ducked back to third as the half was reached in :53.4, but soon thereafter was back on the move again. Western Fame rebuffed Racing Hill again as they hit three-quarters in 1:22.1 and then held off Big Top Hanover by 1-1/4 lengths for the victory. “It was kind of an all-or-nothing drive, I guess,” said a laughing MacDonald, who drove Western Fame for trainer Jimmy Takter. “The first heat, there wasn’t a whole lot of action so I wanted to give the crowd something to see. “We had the rail; it’s tough when you get stuck in the two hole at Delaware, not too many horses win out of the two hole. Jimmy had a lot of confidence in the horse. He thought he would be really good over this track and he showed some grittiness today. He never got a breather. When I called on him halfway down the stretch, he paced away for me. “It was the perfect opportunity for him to show his speed. He has always had it, but quite possibly today he could finally really show it. He has always raced well. You can see that from his last race in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final.” Western Fame is owned by breeder Brittany Farms. He was the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship runner-up to Check Six on Sept. 10. Racing Hill and Check Six were scratched from the second heat. -- Kim French also contributed to this report Ken Weingartner
DELAWARE, OH - Harnessracing.com reported today that Betting Line and harness racing driver David Miller won the 71st edition of the Little Brown Jug on Thursday afternoon, rolling to a commanding 1:49 victory in the second heat on a hot and sunny afternoon. Although there wasn't a cloud in the sky, the atmosphere for the Jug was not exactly picture-perfect as text messages allegedly sent by the winning trainer, Casie Coleman, prompted concerns that her horse could have been treated, in violation of the rules, the morning of the Jug. Trainers Tony Alagna, Ron Burke and Jimmy Takter said they were filing a formal protest with the Ohio State Racing Commission and made it clear they were racing their horses under protest. One of Coleman’s assistant trainers lost their phone sometime Wednesday night at the fairgrounds and when the person who found the phone tried to figure out who it belonged to, they found text messages. The content of the text messages compelled the person to contact the judges. Presiding judge John Yinger, who is employed by the Ohio State Racing Commission, decided the text messages did not contain evidence that Betting Line should be scratched from the Jug, but Takter, Alagna and Burke were so upset by what the texts said—and to them, implied--that they conferred with Yinger and the owners of their horses over the course of hours. Takter discussed the situation with Jeff Snyder, co-owner of Lyons Snyder, on the backstretch. At one point they agreed to scratch the horse. To read the rest of the story click here.
Delaware, OH --- Betting Line will put his harness racing 11-race win streak on the line in Thursday's (Sept. 22) 71st edition of the Little Brown Jug presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association, where he will start from post five in the first of two opening-round heats at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. A horse must win two one-mile races on the same day to capture the Little Brown Jug trophy. Eleven horses entered the $577,000 event for 3-year-old pacers and were divided into two $92,320 first-heat eliminations. Betting Line is the 3-5 morning line favorite in the first elimination while Racing Hill is the 3-5 choice in the second elimination. The top four finishers in each elimination advance to the $276,960 second heat. If one of the two elimination winners is victorious in the second heat, he is the Jug champion. Otherwise, the three heat-winners return for a $115,400 race-off. The last race-off was in 2000, when Astreos won the event. Betting Line, who was the 3-5 favorite in the first Little Brown Jug Future Pool, will have three-time Jug winner David Miller in the sulky for trainer Casie Coleman. The colt has won 11 consecutive races since beginning his season with a second-place finish against older horses. His victories include the North America Cup, Battle of the Brandywine, and Carl Milstein Memorial Invitational. He heads to the Jug off a win in the Simcoe Stakes on Sept. 10 at Mohawk Racetrack, where he rallied from an 8-1/4 length deficit on the final turn to beat Lyons Snyder by a half-length in 1:49.1. "I thought he was finally getting beat with the way the trip was working out -- he was in no-man's land, I thought anyway, coming off the last turn -- and Lyons Snyder is a pretty nice horse," Coleman said. "But somehow Betting Line got him at the wire. I was pretty nervous watching the race, but when we were in the winner's circle David said I had nothing to worry about. "Every time he's raced he's been pretty awesome. It's hard not to be happy with him. Hopefully everything goes good (in the Little Brown Jug). I don't see two heats bothering the horse at all. He always comes out of his races good and never seems tired. He looks pretty good coming into it." Betting Line, a son of 2001 Little Brown Jug winner Bettor's Delight out of the mare Heather's Western, has won 17 of 24 career races and earned $1.50 million for owners West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. Coleman has won the Jug twice in her career, with Michael's Power in 2012 and Vegas Vacation in 2013, and would join four other trainers with three triumphs if Betting Line is victorious next week. Billy Haughton holds the record for training wins with six. Stanley Dancer, with four Jugs, is the only other trainer with more than three. Racing Hill has won five of 11 races in 2016 and never finished worse than third in any start. He is the richest horse in the division this year with earnings of $1.21 million. His wins include the Messenger Stakes, Max C. Hempt Memorial and Delvin Miller Adios, and he finished second to Betting Line in the North America Cup and Battle of the Brandywine. He also finished second in the Meadowlands Pace. Brett Miller will drive the colt from post two for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Tom Hill. Racing Hill is a son of Roll With Joe, who finished second to Big Bad John in the 2011 Little Brown Jug, out of the mare Chasing Ideals. Trainer Ron Burke, who won the 2014 Little Brown Jug with Limelight Beach, will start five horses in this year's race including Check Six who will start from post four in the first elimination. Check Six has won seven of 15 races this year, including the Pennsylvania Classic and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and earned $751,033. He finished second to Racing Hill in the Adios. Yannick Gingras will drive Check Six, who is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Southwind Vanna. The colt is owned by Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, William Switala, and James Martin. He is 2-1 on the morning line behind Betting Line. Another of Burke's pupils will be Manhattan Beach, who is a full brother to Limelight Beach. Manhattan Beach has won four of 16 races this year and earned $260,853 for owners Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Geoffrey Lyons Mound, and Wingfield Brothers. Matt Kakaley will drive the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Benear from post four in the second elimination and will open on the board at 6-1 odds. Geoffrey Lyons Mound also is co-owner of Lyons Snyder, who is trained by 2006 Jug-winning trainer Jimmy Takter. Lyons Mound's partner on the horse is Jeff Snyder, who shares the record for most Jug victories by an owner (three) with Stanley Dancer and George Segal. Lyons Snyder will score from post three in the first elimination and is 8-1 on the morning line. The second Little Brown Jug future pool will be from noon Sunday (Sept. 18) through 11:30 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 21). For all of the latest news, photos and videos for the 71st edition of the Little Brown Jug, visit the Harness Racing FanZone's mini-site by clicking here. Below are the fields for the Little Brown Jug first heat eliminations, with listed drivers, trainers and morning line odds. Actual race numbers and estimated post times will be assigned when the full card is drawn on Monday. First elimination-Purse $92,320 HN-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Dr J Hanover - Somebeachsomewhere - Scott Zeron-Tony Alagna-6/1 2. Stolen Glimpse - Art Major - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-15/1 3. Lyons Snyder - Well Said - Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-8/1 4. Check Six - Somebeachsomewhere - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-2/1 5. Betting Line - Bettor's Delight - David Miller-Casie Coleman-3/5 6. Fernando Hanover - Dragon Again - Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke-12-1 Second elimination-Purse $92,320 HN-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Western Fame - Western Ideal - Mark MacDonald-Jimmy Takter-4/1 2. Racing Hill - Roll With Joe - Brett Miller-Tony Alagna-3/5 3. Big Top Hanover - Western Ideal - David Miller-Ron Burke-15/1 4. Manhattan Beach - Somebeachsomewhere - Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-6/1 5. Spider Man Hanover - Western Ideal - Andy Miller-Nick Surick-20/1 Paul Ramlow
Hall of Fame Driver David Miller has been on quite a roll at Harrah's Philadelphia this season, and that continued on Wednesday's harness racing program. Miller had eight wins on the card. His first came with a gate-to-wire score with Vince Ali and Bill Mac Kenzie's Tiger's Too Good in the opener. He also won the last race in come-from-behind fashion with Kid PK, who paced the mile in a day's fastest 1:51.4. At one point, Miller strung together four wins in a row, in races 6,7,8, and 9. Miller is currently third in the driver's standings at Harrah's Philly with 143 wins, and $1.7 million in earnings this season, winning at a clip of 20.5 percent. Michael Bozich
Wilkes-Barre, PA --- Casie Coleman has said previously that Betting Line is the best horse she's ever had. On Saturday, the colt gave the harness racing trainer another reason to believe it. Betting Line paced the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track, romping to a four length win over Racing Hill in 1:47.2 in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Control The Moment finished third and Boston Red Rocks was fourth. It was Betting Line's ninth consecutive victory. His only loss this year, a second-place finish, came against older horses in his first race of the season. In the Battle of the Brandywine, Racing Hill led to the opening quarter in :26.1, with Control The Moment second and Betting Line third. Driver David Miller fired Betting Line to the front prior to the halfway point, reached in :53.4, and led comfortably to three-quarters in 1:20.1. Betting Line, the 1-2 favorite, was never threatened in the stretch and coasted to the wire. "I wasn't real happy at first with getting away third with Racing Hill up front," Coleman said. "I wasn't sure what Brett (Miller with Racing Hill) would do because that horse loves the front and wasn't sure he might take us more than he did when we came. But :53.4 is pretty good to the half. Betting Line is better off a helmet, but it worked out. "It's cold, it's windy; I was not expecting a mile like that tonight, that's for sure. I knew he was going to be really good, but with the way it's cooled off, I didn't think we would go a world record. He was extremely impressive." The previous world record of 1:47.3 was held by a former Coleman trainee, McWicked. The clocking also was established at Pocono, in the 2014 Hempt Memorial. "Honestly, with all the horses I've had, and I've said this for a while, I think Betting Line is the best one I've had," Coleman said. "McWicked was a really nice horse. (World champions) Sportswriter and Betterthancheddar were better than what Wicked was. But this horse is showing he's even better than them." Betting Line has won 15 of 22 career races and earned $1.38 million. The son of Bettor's Delight-Heather's Western is owned by Coleman's West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. "He's always been a powerful colt," Coleman said. "He raced great all last season; he races like a gorilla every time he races pretty much. He went some tough trips as a 2-year-old, but he always gave everything he had right to the wire. Never once have I been disappointed with this horse." Betting Line Dr J Hanover, the impeccably-bred (Somebeachsomewhere-So Perfect) $300,000 yearling, streaked to his fifth straight victory in taking the $200,000 Consolation I in 1:50.1, lowering his mark by over a second and a half. Scott Zeron sent the late-developing colt to the lead well before the 26.1 opener, then let quarter-mover JJ Flynn brush around him to the top in front of the stands, that one putting up middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:23. Zeron had Dr J Hanover out and on the bit just past mid-turn to go after the pacesetter, with third-inside Safensound Hanover dipping down to the Pocono Pike as JJ Flynn backed off a bit, giving Dr J Hanover his biggest challenge. But the good Doctor, at 3-1 the third choice here, stayed strong to the wire, winning by a length, with JJ Flynn another 1-3/4 lengths back in third. Tony Alagna conditions the winner, improving greatly with every start, for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, John Cancelliere, and Dr J Partners. Nocturnal Bluechip was hustled out of the gate by driver Tim Tetrick, yielded to favored Spider Man Hanover to sit the pocket, then stormed up the famed Pocono Pike to be an easy winner in the $100,000 Battle of the Brandywine Consolation II in 1:51.2. After opening in 26, Spider Man Hanover got a relative breather on the lead, posting middle fractions of :55.1 and 1:23, but he came up empty in the lane and Nocturnal Blue Chip stormed up the inside to win by 1-1/4 lengths. The 35-1 shot Inspiration View, four-wide headstretch and still sixth 100 feet out, was along for second, a half-length ahead of last year's PA Sire Stakes champion Ideal Jimmy, who also shot up the Pike. A son of Bettor's Delight, Nocturnal Bluechip was sent off as the 5-2 second choice and delivered his first victory of the season for trainer Mark Steacy, also co-owner with NLG Racing Stable. PHHA/Pocono also contributed to this report Ken Weingartner
Darlinonthebeach took the lead after the opening quarter-mile and set all the fractions from there, winning Saturday's $350,000 Valley Forge for harness racing 3-year-old female pacers by 4-1/4 lengths over Call Me Queen Be in 1:49.3. Blue Moon Stride finished third, followed by Pure Country. Blue Moon Stride went to the front at the start, with Darlinonthebeach and driver David Miller settling in third as the field paced around the first turn and reached the quarter in :26.1. Darlinonthebeach, the 6-5 second choice behind Pure Country, was on the move coming off the turn and reached the lead on her way to the half in :54.4. From there, Darlinonthebeach reached three-quarters in 1:21.4 and came home a convincing winner for trainer Nancy Johansson and breeder/owner White Birch Farm. Pure Country, a slight even-money favorite over Darlinonthebeach, was parked outside from post nine and unable to gain ground in the stretch. "I was going to wait and see what happened off the gate," Miller said. "Really, only a couple of them left and I figured I could get the lead pretty easily so I went ahead and moved her right away. She's settled down quite a bit and lets me do what I need to do with her. She's been racing great doing that." Darlinonthebeach won for the third consecutive time and has finished no worse than second in four races since suffering from atrial fibrillation in the Lynch Memorial on July 2 at Pocono. "She's just been very sharp the last three starts and she's holding her form really good," Miller said. "I've always had a lot of confidence in her. She just ran into a few hiccups there, but she's stuck with it, she's getting through it, and now she's getting what she deserves." Darlinonthebeach has won eight of 13 races this year and earned $447,881. For her career, the homebred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Darlin's Delight has won 10 of 23 starts and banked $663,272. Darlinonthebeach Graceful Vision took the lead after the opening quarter, fended off a backstretch challenge from favorite Skinny Dipper, and cruised to a 5-1/4 length win in 1:50.3 in the $150,000 Valley Forge Consolation I. Heels On The Beach was second and Marty Party Two was third. Marcus Miller drove Graceful Vision for his father, trainer and co-owner Erv Miller. The daughter of Yankee Cruiser-Vision Of Grace is also owned by John Koliopoulos. She has won four of 12 races this season and five of 16 lifetime, pushing her career earnings to $114,330. Graceful Vision was sent off at odds of 7-2. The top four finishers were driven by Millers -- with Brett Miller behind Heels On The Beach, David Miller with Marty Party Two, and Andy Miller with Arrow Hanover. PHHA/Pocono also contributed to this report Ken Weingartner
Hall of fame driver David Miller was on fire Thursday afternoon (Aug. 18) at Harrah's Philly, sweeping three divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races for harness racing 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. They each went for a purse of $63,291. The first division saw Emerald Highlands Farm's Fear The Dragon taking advantage of a live cover flow to get the job done. The son of Dragon Again latched on to the cover of Blood Line (Yannick Gingras), and was able to steer clear in the stretch to win by a length in the day's fastest 1:51.2. It was fourth consecutive victory in five lifetime starts. Huntsville (Tim Tetrick) re-rallied for second, while Blood Line settled for third. Fear The Dragon ($3.00) was one of two sire-stakes winners for trainer Brian Brown. In division two, it was the other Brian Brown trainee Downbytheseaside holding on for the win. The son of Somebeachsomewhere brushed to the top past the quarter and was able to hold off the bid of the pocket-sitter Boogie Shuffle (Andrew McCarthy) by a neck in 1:52.4. Western Joe (Corey Callahan) finished third. It was the third career win for Downbytheseaside ($2.60) out of five career starts. He is owned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, and Richard Lombardo. The third and final division went to Synerco Venture's Bettor's Western. The son of Bettor's Delight went to the top, but yielded the lead to Ron Burke trainee Filibuster Hanover (Yannick Gingras). Bettor's Western was able to get up the passing lane to win in a blanket finish, stopping the clock in 1:52. Summer Side (Tim Tetrick) was game in defeat finishing second, while Normandy Beach (Matt Kakaley) rallied for third. It was the second career win for the Chris Oakes trainee, out of five lifetime tries. He paid $4.40. The undercard was strong as well. It included a non-winners of $15,000 last five on the trot, which was taken by Military Blue (Dave Miller). The 4-year-old gelded son of Lucky Chucky brushed to the lead past the half, and went on to an easy victory in 1:55.2. He paid $21.80 to win. Two time Dan Patch award winner Market Share was a heavy favorite in the event, but made a break shortly after the quarter. Also on the card was a non-winners of $20,000 lifetime on the trot. The race favorite was Daryl Bier and Joann Dombeck's star trotter Wind Of The North (Sean Bier). The 6-year-old gelded son of Cantab Hall drafted in the pocket behind the speed of Super Manning (George Naploitano Jr.), before using a passing lane move to get the job done in 1:55.1. It was his third straight win. Michael Bozich
Betting Line with harness racing driver David Miller in the sulky, won the $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park in 1:51 on Saturday (August 13). He started from post two and sat third through a :25.4 opening quarter. Miller pulled first over in the second turn and pressed the leader, Mr Wiggle Pants, through fractions of :54.4 and 1:22.3. Betting line bobbled around the final turn, but sprinted away after regaining composure, and bested his competition by four lengths. "I was just riding along with him up the backstretch and he started bearing in on me around the turn," explained Miller. "He got pinched and threw in a step or two. He proved again tonight that he has a high turn of speed and he can carry it a long way." Saturday's win is Betting Line's eighth consecutive victory. His lone loss this year was a runner-up performance in his 2016 Mowawk Racetrack debut. Betting Line (Bettor's Delight-Heather's Western-Western Hanover) increased his career bankroll to $1,427,422 for owners West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun and Mac Nichol. Casie Coleman trains Betting line and was relieved her horse overcame many obstacles to win. "Tonight was the first time he was ever shipped a long way, it was his first time on a half and it was his first time leaving Canada," said Coleman. "I feel really good about how things turned out. I have to get his turns corrected before he goes to Delaware for the Jug, but he has all kinds of speed. He is just awesome." Completing the 2016 Milstein field were the filly Pure Country, Magnum J, Mr Wiggle Pants, Sintra, Duel Of Truth and Don'tcallmefrancis. Boston Red Rocks was scratched from the race. Leading up to the Milstein, the inaugural $50,000 Myron Charna President's Pace was won by Dancin Yankee in 1:51.3. Dancin Yankee was driven by Brett Miller for trainer Josh Green and owners Richard Lombardo and L&J Racing. The Charna will be an annual event for four year old and up Ohio sired pacers. Ayers Ratliff
Casie Coleman and the fellow owners of Betting Line decided to skip several of harness racing's big-money events for 3-year-old male pacers this summer, but the group is pleased with the results and betting it pays off down the road. The Canadian-based Betting Line won the North America Cup on June 18 at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. Since then, he has raced three times, all on the Ontario Sire Stakes circuit, and posted three victories. He was not staked to the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial, $732,050 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios, or $320,000 Cane Pace. Racing Hill won the Hempt and Adios; Control The Moment won the Meadowlands Pace and Cane. Betting Line, who has won seven of eight races this year and earned $571,830, will leave Canada for the first time in his career when he competes in Saturday's $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial Invitational at Ohio's Northfield Park. Betting Line is the 3-5 morning line favorite in the eight-horse field, which includes filly Pure Country, Dan Patch Award-winner Boston Red Rocks, and Ontario rival Sintra. "He was good each start (following the North America Cup) and I'm glad I was able to give him a bit of a break," said Coleman, who trains Betting Line. The colt is owned by Coleman's West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. "A lot of these other horses have been racing tough week in and week out. I know he's going to get busy in the next several weeks. "It's hard to be upset with the money he's made. The Ontario-sired horses go for such good money right here in his backyard. We decided to try to hit all the Ontario Sire Stakes we could and work his open stakes races around them. Our program is so good it's just hard to say no. We decided to go this route and we're all happy with the money he's racking up doing it this way." Following the Milstein, Betting Line will head to the Battle of the Brandywine at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Aug. 20. He has an Ontario Sire Stakes event on Sept. 3 at Mohawk and the Simcoe Stakes a week later at the same venue. Next on his schedule is the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 22 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. He is not staked to the Tattersalls Pace at Lexington's Red Mile, but could be supplemented. Coleman, though, is focused on the Ontario Sire Stakes championship on Oct. 15 at Mohawk and the Breeders Crown eliminations a week later at the Meadowlands. If all goes well, Betting Line would make a trip to the Breeders Crown final on Oct. 29 and end his season with the Progress Pace at Dover Downs in November. For now, Coleman is only concerned about the Milstein. Betting Line and driver David Miller will start from post No. 2 on the half-mile oval and bring a seven-race win streak to the event. Pure Country, who finished fourth in the Cane Pace, is the 9-2 second choice from post six. Sintra, who in 10 races this year has posted seven wins and three second-place finishes to Betting Line, is 6-1 from post four. "It will be the first time Betting Line will be on a half-mile track, but it's really well banked and a good surface," Coleman said. "Any inside post is good, so I'm happy with that. It's a tough enough field. You're going for $300,000 so it's always going to be tough. "Sintra, we've beaten him every time so far, but he's a really good horse, so he's one to worry about. Pure Country, she's been just unreal, so you have to worry about her. I don't know some of the horses coming from Indiana and Ohio, but from their lines it looks like they've been racing quite good. He's definitely going to have his work cut out for him, but he seems good and sharp coming into the race." Betting Line won six of 12 races last year, including the Ontario Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers. He finished second in the Metro Pace and fourth off a tough trip in the Breeders Crown. Coleman prepared Betting Line for his 3-year-old season by training him with 4-year-old Reverend Hanover, a two-time Ontario champion. It was more out of necessity than by design. "I've just got a small barn and didn't bring back many 3-year-olds," Coleman said. "Reverend, when he trains, he wants to rattle and roll. He's a little bit of an aggressive trainer. Betting Line definitely had to train back with tougher competition than I would have liked, but that's what we had to do.a "He raced great as a 2-year-old, but that last start when he went a tough trip in the Breeders Crown final I was quite worried. You don't want to see a horse end the year with a start like that. I was worried if it would hurt him at all coming back at 3, but he seemed to forget all about that." Coleman is more than happy with Betting Line's attitude, and it's tough to put a price on that. "Every time I put him behind the gate he always gives me everything he's got," Coleman said. "It's always exciting racing him." Ken Weingartner
East Rutherford, NJ --- What The Hill (David Miller) came off the rail and split horses to grab the lead in the final hundred feet to win the $294,450 Peter Haughton Memorial for harness racing 2-year-old trotting colts on Saturday (Aug. 6) at The Meadowlands. The time of 1:54.4 was a career best for the son of Muscle Hill - K T Cha Cha for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing, Deo Volente Farms, Our Horse Cents Stable and J&T Silva Stables. Burke won the Haughton last year with Southwind Frank. The early pace was set by Snowstorm Hanover and driver Matt Kakaley who got to the quarter in :28,2, trailed by What The Hill. Those two were in the same order at the :57 half, with Bjorn Goop creeping up on the outside with Victor Gio and moving into the lead by the 1:25.4 three-quarters. As Goop started to move away from the field in the homestretch with Victor Gio, Rubio (Yannick Gingras) was trotting down the center of the track trying to catch him, but What The Hill trotted off the rail to dart between Rubio and the leader to overtake him in the final yards for the win by three-quarters of a length. Victor Gio held for second and Rubio was 2-1/4 lengths off the winner to be third and New Jersey Viking was fourth. “I knew he had a shot,” said co-owner Jerry Silva. “Ronnie (Burke) and I spoke about a driver. Yannick (Gingras) was really committed to a lot of Takter horses, and Ronnie spoke to David Miller. David said he would commit to What The Hill for the rest of the year, I think, and after this race I’m sure he will. That’s what is very important with young trotters. You need a consistent driver behind them.” by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications