Day At The Track
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Andy McCarthy motored Ramona Hill to the front from post 10 and battled all challengers for control, trotting to a 1:50.3 victory in the $253,500 Delvin Miller Memorial for 3-year-old harness racing fillies on Saturday (July 18) at the Meadowlands.   Clearing command into the first turn, Ramona Hill led the field past a :26.3 first quarter before Love A Good Story angled off the pylons to brush for the lead. Sorella, the 2-5 favorite, then moved uncovered as Love A Good Story cleared control in the backside. However Ramona Hill, sitting in the pocket, swiftly circled in front of Sorella and Love A Good Story to retake control just beyond a :54.2 half.   Rounding the far turn, Sorella marched forward to match strides with Ramona Hill, while Hypnotic AM rode second-over cover. Past three-quarters in 1:22.2, Sorella began to hang, forcing Hypnotic AM wide and the third-over Panem even wider as Ramona Hill widened her lead. Panem rolled most quickly of any down the center of the track, cutting into Ramona Hill's margin nearing the finish but still finishing 1-1/2 lengths behind. Hypnotic AM took third from Sorella.       "We had Pilot Discretion last year and we raced in the [Hambletonian]. And then, at the end of the year, Ramona [Hill] came on and she was just fantastic," co-owner Robert LeBlanc said after the race. "[Alagna] brought her along slowly -- she was a late foal -- and we wanted to give her time. We thought we had something special, and Tony said we were going to manage her for the end of the year. And Andy just drives her fantastic ... This is pretty special; she's a special animal."   A Crawford Farms-bred daughter of Muscle Hill, Ramona Hill collected her seventh victory from nine starts, amassing $539,470 in earnings for owners Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, LeBlanc and In The Gym Partners. She returned $18.80 to win.   by Ray Cotolo, for The Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Plunge Blue Chip, driven by Ake Svanstedt, nipped 1-2 favorite Manchego in a world-record performance to win the second of two $128,500 divisions of the Del Miller Memorial for 3-year-old harness racing trotting fillies at the Meadowlands Saturday night, and in the process, became the fastest 3-year-old trotter in history, regardless of sex. The 2-1 second choice, who hadn't raced in three weeks and was only making her second start in a month and a half, went after leader Manchego at the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:23.1 and after a stirring stretch duel, gunned down Manchego and driver Yannick Gingras by a nose in 1:49.4, equaling the fastest trotting mile in Meadowlands history. On July 11 of 2015, JL Cruze became the first sub-1:50 performer in Big M history, when he went 1:49.4 in the Graduate final. "It's unbelievable, but this is a very good horse. (1):49.4 was a surprise, but she is a good horse. She has not raced on the big tracks so much, that is why she has not raced so fast. In two weeks, she has the Hambletonian (Oaks)," said Svanstedt. Plunge Blue Chip, a daughter of Muscle Mass, paid $6.20 to her backers. Live Laugh Love finished third. In the first division, Phaetosive, driven and trained by Trond Smedshammer, grabbed the lead at the top of the stretch and never looked back, trotting clear at the wire by 2¾ lengths. The daughter of Explosive Matter, who last week scored in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Harrah's Philadelphia, took the lead at the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:24.4 and romped home in 1:51.3. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, Phaetosive paid $3.60, 2.80 and $2.20. "She was very good last year as a 2-year-old and has gotten a bit bigger and stronger this year," said Smedshammer, who won the Del Miller for the first time. "She will be off next week, then it's the Hambletonian Oaks elimination and, hopefully, the Oaks final." Longshot Perfect Summer K, who went off at odds of 137-1, finished second ($59.40, $18.20) and Hey Blondie rounded out the top three, paying $3.60 to show. by Lou Monaco, for Hambletonian Society    

East Rutherford, NJ - Undefeated Bee A Magician not only showed her heels to her main competition this year but in doing so set the world record for harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies with a 1:51 triumph in the $265,500 final of the Del Miller Memorial Trot Saturday.

It may be difficult to teach old dogs new tricks, but the father-and-son team of harness racing trainer Carl Jamieson and driver Jody Jamieson seem to have been effective teaching an older horse a new way to race.

Three-year-old filly trotter Check Me Out took the No. 1 spot in this week's harness racing Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll after winning the Delvin Miller Memorial in a world-record 1:51.3.

Check Me Out left little doubt that she is the dominant harness racing three-year-old trotting filly of her generation, scoring a two and a half-length victory in a world record 1:51.3 in the 12th race, the $245,500 Del Miller Memorial.

As he makes his way to his stable every morning, harness racing trainer Larry Rathbone already knows seeing his 3-year-old filly Lady Andi will be the most uplifting portion of the next 24 hours.

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