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Freehold, NJ --- The signature race at Freehold Raceway, and the beginning of the road to the Hambletonian, the Dexter Cup, is coming up next Saturday (May 1). This Saturday (April 24), Freehold will host the Dexter elimination, as eight 3-year-old harness racing colt and gelding trotters look to earn a spot in next week's final.   Ten horses entered the Dexter Cup on Wednesday. Two of them, Ambassador Hanover for trainer Ake Svanstedt, and Sunny Crockett, trained by Julie Miller, accepted a bye and will advance to next week's final. As a result, the top six finishers in the elimination will move on to the final.   Svanstedt will send out one starter, Incommunicado. He swept his way through the Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge last year, and finished third in the New York Sire Stakes final at Yonkers Raceway. He'll make his 3-year-old debut on Saturday, leaving from post position seven with driver Yannick Gingras.   The slight morning line favorite, at 5/2, is Per Engblom trainee Ethan T Hanover. He broke his maiden last fall at Harrah's Philadelphia, trotting the mile in 1:57 3/5 on an off track for his lone win to date. He finished third in the Matron last fall at Dover Downs, behind Incomunicado. This will mark his 3-year-old debut. Tim Tetrick has the drive from post position two.   Credit Con, for trainer Todd Buter, and Royson's Punch, for trainer Linda Toscano, are the co-second choices on the morning line at 9/2 each. Credit Con has been competing in the Weiss Series at Pocono Downs, where he won two weeks ago and finished second last week. He drew post position one, and will be driven by Tyler Buter. Royson's Punch won the Excelsior A final last year at Tioga Downs. He has post position five and driver Scott Zeron.   Chapolier, trained by Trond Smedshammer, Share the Wealth, for trainer Ray Schnittker, Fifty Ways, trained by Joe Columbo, and Believer, for trainer Randy Taft, complete the field.   The race is scheduled as the 11th of 14 races on the Saturday card at Freehold, with a scheduled post time of 3:50 PM.   The first race at Freehold will be at approximately 12:30 PM.   From Freehold Raceway    

Get Legs rallied after working out a second-over trip and got up through the lane to win the $69,000 final of the John Brennan Trotting Series on Wednesday night (April 21) at Yonkers Raceway as the 1-9 favorite. Starting from post six, Get Legs (Andy Miller) didn't have the quickest of beginnings, landing in sixth, but he was able to improve one spot to fifth as Look In My Eyes (Jordan Stratton) miscued on the opening turn. Meanwhile, Lady Jeter (Yannick Gingras) did have a fast start, as she blasted out from post six and established command well before the 28.4 opening quarter. Guilty Desire (Nick Clegg), who made a brief break just prior to the start, was able to get back on-stride quickly and then began a first-over move out of fourth on the second turn, giving Get Legs cover. Guilty Desire advanced into second as Lady Jeter tripped the half-mile point at 59.3, and remained in that position to the 1:28.4 three-quarters as Lady Jeter continued on the front-end and gave her two-wide challenger the cold shoulder. On the far turn Gingras asked Lady Jeter to accelerate as Get Legs tipped out three-wide, and Lady Jeter responded as she had a couple of lengths on Get Legs turning into the lane. It was not enough, though, as despite drifting out, Get Legs was hand-driven home by Miller and surged by Lady Jeter en route to a 1 3/4 length decision in 1:58.3. Tad Krazy Hanover (Scott Zeron) was third, followed by Guilty Desire and Windsong Pioneer (Brent Holland).   GET LEGS REPLAY   Trained by Julie Miller, Get Legs is a 4-year-old son of Muscle Hill owned by Andy Miller Stable and Michael Anderson. Get Legs has compiled a record of 11-0-2 from 13 starts, and he has now pocketed $120,510. He returned $2.10 to win, place, and show and was atop a $15.00 exacta and a $94.50 trifecta. In the $30,000 consolation event of the series, Halo Its Me (Gingras) sailed to the lead from post seven and reached the opening quarter in 28.2 before yielding to Stinglike A B K (Tyler Buter). Stinglike A B K then made a break prior to the 58.4 half, leaving Halo Its Me back on the point as Blue And Bold (Holland) briefly vacated the cones to go first-over before he went back to the inside on the third turn. Halo Its Me got some separation on the others going towards three-quarters, which she posted in 1:28, but 3-2 favorite Hunting AS (Todd McCarthy) was making steady progress after tipping out first-up once Blue And Bold elected to drop back down to the pylons and joined Halo Its Me on the last turn. Hunting AS was able to forge his way into the lead in the stretch and then held off a determined bid by Bazillionaire (George Brennan), who surged from second-over, to win by a nose in 1:59.2. Blue And Bold wound up third.   HUNTING AS REPLAY   Hunting AS is a 4-year-old Lionhunter gelding trained by Jenny Melander for owners Melander Racing Inc., Clark Stables LLC., and Robert Bernaski. Hunting AS picked up his seventh career win, and he has now earned $96,956. Hunting AS paid $5.00 to win and led a $116.50 exacta and a $452.00 trifecta. Stakes racing at Yonkers Raceway will resume on Friday, May 7 when the track plays host to the Reynolds Stakes, a Grand Circuit event for 3-year-old pacers of both sexes.    For full race results, click here.   From Yonkers Raceway

Freehold, NJ --- The 11-race card at Freehold Raceway on Friday (April 23) features both the harness racing stars of yesterday and of today. The program includes a prep for next week's Lady Suffolk trot, as well as a stacked renewal of the Preferred Handicap trot.   The Lady Suffolk Prep drew a field of six 3-year-old trotting fillies, and is scheduled as the third race on the card, with a post time of about 1:10 PM. Ron Burke sends out a pair in here, including Hot as Hill, the winner of two legs of the Kindergarten series last fall at the Meadowlands. She qualified at Freehold last week, trotting the mile in 1:59.1. Her uncoupled stablemate, The Queen B, finished third last week in a conditioned trot at Freehold, and was sixth in the Kindergarten final last year.   The race also includes Just Joshing, the winner of the New York Sire Stakes Excelsior A final at Tioga Downs last summer for trainer Julie Miller, along with the runner-up in that race and a three-time winner in the series, Marcus Melander trainee Izzy Demsky. Spruce Creek, who won the New Jersey Futurity at Freehold last fall, will make her 3-year-old debut in this race, for trainer Ron Coyne Jr.   Victoriana, a winner at Freehold last fall for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer, rounds out the field.   Later on the card, the Preferred Handicap features a very select field of six. The field features two of the classiest trotters on the east coast: Paul Kelly trainee Obrigado, a winner of 55 races lifetime and more than $1.9 million, and Melady's Monet, a 73-time winner trained by Hermann Heitmann who has earned more than $1.7 million.   They've won the Preferred Handicap three times each this season, with Melady's Monet getting the better of their lone head-to-head matchup to date on January 29. Obrigado will seek revenge from post position five, with driver Dan Dube, while Melady's Monet will look for victory from post position six, with driver Eric Abbatiello. He's also seeking his fourth win in a row, and a win in the Preferred for the second straight week.   The duo will face an interesting challenge, in the form of Warrawee Roo. On Friday, he'll make his first start since November 24, 2018, when he was ninth in the TVG Final at the Meadowlands. Earlier that year, he won the Harry Harvey Invitational Trot at Yonkers Raceway, and was third in the Breeders' Crown Open Trot final at Pocono Downs. He's qualified several times at Woodbine Mohawk Park in preparation for his return. Bob McClure has the drive from post position four, for trainer Luc Blais.   Armagedon Seelster, for trainer Ron Coyne Jr, Casino Cutie It, trained by Tom Fanning, and Winneress, trained by Symon Spicer, complete the ensemble. It's scheduled as the sixth race, with a listed post time of 2:10 PM.   In addition, the Friday card features a carryover in the $1 early pick 4, worth $3,017.73. The bet begins in race 2, starting at 12:50 PM.   Post time for the first of eleven races at Freehold on Friday is scheduled for 12:30 PM.   From Freehold Raceway  

The wins didn't add up for Lindy The Great last year, but the money sure did. Despite only one harness racing victory, Lindy The Great's $390,074 in purses were surpassed by just three older trotters: Dan Patch Award winners Gimpanzee and Manchego, plus Atlanta. Lindy The Great's earnings also established a career high for the trotter and pushed the 7-year-old Crazed stallion's lifetime total to $1.03 million. "You always like the W, that's why we do what we do, but he was so consistent," trainer Julie Miller said about Lindy The Great, who earned a check in 15 of his 16 races last year. "To stay in that kind of form from May to the end of November, that's a tribute to what a nice horse he is. He tries. You can't ask for more. "At that top level, it's not easy to ship all around and race that strong every start. I'll take a barn full of horses like him." Lindy The Great joined Miller's stable last year. He is owned by Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Team Lindy The Great. "He is one of our favorites; Andy just loves him to death," Miller said, referring to her husband, who also is the horse's driver. "You always take pride in your trotters and having a nice aged trotter makes it easier to get up in the morning. We're hoping to have a nice season with him. He came back really well." Lindy The Great makes his seasonal debut Saturday at The Meadowlands, where he faces six foes in the $30,000 Preferred Handicap for trotters. He is 7-2 on the morning line, third choice behind Scirocco Rob (5-2) and JL Cruze (3-1). The stallion's first Grand Circuit stakes event is the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial on May 15 at The Meadowlands. "We staked him heavily," Miller said. "Instead of getting thirds and fourths, this year I'd like to get wins and seconds. But it's a deep group (of older trotters), very serious competition. It's great for the owners and the fans, and us too. That's why we do what we do, to be in those kinds of races." Lindy The Great's top career win came in 2019 in the Caesars Trotting Classic at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Last year, he won a conditioned race and was second in the Maple Leaf Trot, John Cashman Memorial, and Dayton Trotting Derby. He finished third in the TVG Series Open Trot championship and Caesars Trotting Classic. Lifetime, Lindy The Great has won 15 of 63 races. What makes him special in the eyes of Miller? "He's a big, strong, muscular stud horse, but he's a gentle giant," Miller said. "When he's on the track, most people know who he is because he has that look, that presence about him. He's full of himself. He knows that he's special, that's for sure. He's just a crowd-pleaser." Lindy The Great enters Saturday's start off a second-place finish behind Back Of The Neck in his first qualifier of the year, April 10 at The Meadowlands. Lindy The Great, who was beaten by a neck, stopped the timer in 1:51.4, with a :26.2 last quarter. "It was a good qualifier and a nice group of horses," Miller said. "We were happy with our horse. We bounced around whether we should qualify once or twice, but for as fast as they go in the qualifiers, you might as well race and try to get some purse money as well." Which is something Lindy The Great knows how to do, greatly. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

Trenton, NJ — In any profession that takes place in the public arena, an offspring trying to follow in their famous parents’ footsteps usually has advantages and disadvantages, such as the pressure of living up to their predecessors’ accomplishments. Harness racing driver Tyler Miller, however, feels it’s a one-way street void of potholes. “I really only think it helps me,” Miller said. “I guess the pressure of my mom and dad being my mom and my dad just fuels my fire even more and makes me try to be as good as them, if not better.” That in itself is a lofty goal as Tyler’s dad is Andy Miller, who ranks 20th in North American harness racing history with 9,663 wins. And then there is his mom, Julie Miller, who has 2,020 training victories, and his uncle Erv Miller, with 5,654 training triumphs. Julie ranks 19th in lifetime purses for a trainer ($45,718,446) and Erv is third ($89,904,892). With that kind of pedigree, it’s no surprise Miller climbed into the sulky after earning a business administration degree from Rider University. “It’s always been in my life from when I was born,” the 23-year-old said. “I’ve always lived my life at the racetrack and didn’t really see a different career path for me.” He was not forced into it, but just the opposite. While his parents gave Tyler free reign on his career path, Julie firmly insisted he get a college degree to have something to fall back on. Miller had no problem with that, although he began to sense his future while attending New Jersey’s Allentown High School, which is nestled in a cradle of outstanding harness racing personalities. Tyler had always helped around the barn on weekends and in the summer. But around age 14, when he would attend a Hambletonian or Meadowlands Pace, is when Miller started to realize his dad was a cut above in his profession. “When they had the autograph sessions at The Meadowlands, you’d just see these huge lines of people waiting to get autographs from all the drivers racing that day, and you’re like ‘Well one of the people they’re waiting to get an autograph from is my dad,’” Tyler recalled. “That was pretty cool to see and realize what was actually going on.” Around that same time, Julie was interviewed by and quipped that “I overlap how I treat horses and kids.” Asked if his mom ever inadvertently served him hay for dinner, Tyler laughed and said, “Yeah, maybe we ended up with a bowl of grain at the dinner table and the horse got the steak dinner, but that only happened once.” Julie’s desire for Tyler to graduate college was no joke, of course, and for four years he put horses on hold except for when he came home in the summer. “I would come back if they needed help, the ride was only 30 minutes away,” Miller said. “But if I went to school, I wanted to make sure I got the full experience of college and live those four years to the fullest. Then I would come back and go to work. “When I got my degree, I realized that horses were what I wanted to do and I dove right in. My parents gave me a lot of freedom and let me decide what I wanted to do with my career and how I wanted to pursue my life. I chose harness racing and that’s what I’m sticking to.” Miller feels his infatuation with driving began to take hold toward the final two years of high school. “It’s so much fun to be around these horses, they all have their own personalities,” he said. “Once I started training more at the barn, helping my parents out — going faster on race bike trips and just feeling the horses wanting to race, just the speed and endurance and mainly the adrenaline rush you get from driving — once I got the bug, I couldn’t get rid of it. I really started working at the barn a lot more in the summers and did a lot more around here.” Tyler’s first drives came while still in college, when he had two wins and two places in seven starts. He made 21 starts with seven wins the following year and went at it full time in 2020, getting 12 wins and hitting the board 57 times in 165 starts while earning $101,300. After 181 starts this season, he has 17 wins, 12 seconds, 19 thirds and $112,066 in earnings. Miller drives predominantly at Freehold but has also raced at The Meadowlands and Yonkers. “I’m happy so far,” he said. “It’s always nice to win and stuff, but I’m just trying to take away something from every drive; make each one a learning experience and just take as much away as I can from everything.” There is no specific victory that stands out so far, but some that are special. “Mainly just racing and winning some races at The Meadowlands,” Miller said. “Just because that track has such history around it from the number of horses and horsemen and women that have traveled over that track and been around that track. It’s almost surreal to be able to say you’re racing at The Meadowlands.” Tyler admits that maybe his last name “helps a little” in making his way, but Andy and Julie are letting him do it on his own. Miller refuses to use their names to help himself get drives. “I’ve kind of been earning my own way,” he said. “I guess it helps because they are my parents and they’ve been around the business forever but for the most part I’m just trying to earn my own way and make my own name for myself.” He is not averse to asking Andy for tips but is quick to point out his dad would never force advice on him. “He kind of lets me do my own thing and learn as I go, but he’s always there if I have a question of whether I should have done this or should have done that,” Tyler said. “But he doesn’t tell me how to drive, he kind of just lets me learn how to drive my own way. But he’s always there if I need advice, or tips on how to get the most out of a horse.” Tyler hasn’t ruled out training in the future but for now is totally focused on making it as a driver. He has no problem going to others beside his dad for help. “I try to learn something from anybody I can,” he said. “Driving at The Meadowlands is one of the best colony of drivers there is. I try to take something from them, and everywhere else I drive at.” Sounds like a guy who truly is making his own way. by Rich Fisher, for the USTA

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - A loaded older trotting division got a little bit deeper Saturday night at The Meadowlands, as Get Legs, from harness racing driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller - the duo known as "Team Orange Crush" - put a beating on six overmatched foes in the $18,500 high-end conditioned trotting feature. "We are really excited about him," said Andy. "Right now, and for the future as well." They should be. Because if all goes as hoped, 'Legs' could end up facing such standouts as Manchego, Atlanta and Amigo Volo during what is his sophomore campaign after having not raced as a 2-year-old. The still relatively inexperienced 4-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Legzy, known heading into the night for his late rallies, was put on the point this time around, and continued his winning ways switching from being a pursuer to the persued. Get Legs, whose every lifetime start has come at The Big M, was away quickly from post four in the seven-horse (which had two scratches) field along with 5-2 second choice Mission Accepted and 3-1 chance Pikachu Hanover, and when they settled in at the quarter, the even-money favorite Get Legs hit the beam in :27.4 with Pikachu Hanover and Mission Accepted willing to sit behind along the rail. "I just thought it was a good spot to be a little more aggressive with him," said Andy. "He's been taken back enough." Miller was able to rate the second fraction in a leisurely :29 on a night where the front end is where you wanted to be, before Pikachu Hanover popped out the two-hole at three-quarters to take his shot, and just as it seemed he might threaten as they straightened away, Get Legs got serious. "When he felt them move up on him," said Andy. "He just took off all the way to the wire." The margin may have been just a half-length, but Get Legs reported home a safe winner in 1:53, just two-fifths of a second slower than two weeks ago, when he established his lifetime best. Mission Accepted outlasted Pikachu Hanover in the race for place.   Get Legs, who returned $4.20 to his backers, now has eight wins from just nine lifetime starts and earnings of $63,610 for owners Andy Miller Stable and Michael Anderson. A 'NIFTY' SCORE: Colossal Stride A, driven by Dexter Dunn and trained by Nifty Norman, wore down speedy 70-1 shot Yacht Seelster in deep stretch to take the high-end conditioned pacing feature by a neck in 1:50.3, giving him three wins in four North American starts since shipping in from Australia less than two months ago. "He's a pretty powerful horse," said Dunn, whose horse sprinted home in :26. "The fractions weren't strong but he paced hard through the stretch." As the 3-5 public choice, Colossal Stride A, who won despite going parked for the final half-mile, paid $3.20 to win. HANDLE ROLLS A "YO-LEVEN": The Meadowlands' streak of seeing the $3-million handle barrier busted on Saturday nights stayed intact, as all-source wagering totaled $3,155,578. There have been 11 Saturday programs at The Big M thus far in 2021, and all 11 have seen a handle of over $3 million. A PAIR OF FOURS: Yannick Gingras and Andy McCarthy had the hot hands on the 13-race card, as both drove four winners on the program. A LITTLE MORE: One shrewd player wagering into the Oregon Express hub raked the pot in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 and collected $12,059. The sequence saw four winning favorites, including a pair of 3-5 shots in the final two legs. ... There will be a bit more time for players to handicap the first race 20-cent Pick-5 starting Friday, as racing resumes with a new post time of 6:20 p.m. by Dave Little, for The Meadowlands

Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing Julie Miller celebrated her birthday in grand style on Friday afternoon (November 20) at Freehold Raceway, as she won her 2,000th race as a trainer.   It didn't come easy, as Keystone Orion won the third race in a nail-biter. Her son, Tyler, put the horse on the lead early, and set comfortable early fractions in the TrackMaster-conditioned trotting affair. Around the third turn, favored Bad Day Black Rock moved first-over, and poked a head in front as they neared three-quarters.   As they turned for home, Bad Day Black Rock began to increase his lead on the outside. However, Tyler and Keystone Orion fought back, gamely dueling with their rival in the stretch. It was close, but the photo finish camera revealed that Keystone Orion won by a nose.       Julie Miller won her first race as a trainer in 1993, at Quad City Downs. Her career began to take off in the late 2000s, when she and her husband Andy relocated to the east coast from Illinois. Her stable cracked the $1 million mark in earnings for the first time in 2007, and won more than 100 races for the first time in 2009.   On the year, Miller now has 74 wins from 407 starts, with earnings of more than $3.2 million.   For Keystone Orion, it was his sixth win of the year, from eighteen starts. He's now earned more than $25,000 on the campaign. Andy Miller is the winning owner.   The Millers added on to their big day in race 6, as Age is a Number won by length. That was the mare's first start for the barn.   Live racing at Freehold continues on Saturday (November 21), with a first post time of 12:30 PM.   From Freehold Raceway    

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The 2-year-old filly, Aela Jamieson, by Chapter Seven of Blue Chip Farms in Wallkill, N.Y., has been named the Unites States Trotting Association District 8 Horse of the Year. The harness racing award was presented to trainer Julie Miller at Sunday's New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) & USTA District 8 Virtual Awards Banquet. "We loved her at Lexington at the sale, she was a smaller filly, but she really grew into herself," said Julie Miller, trainer. "I was really happy with her, she had some bumps in the beginning of the season on the half mile tracks but you don't give up on them and you just keep tinkering with her equipment. I was very fortunate that she started to get with the program at Vernon and Tioga. When the money was down at Yonkers, she really put her best foot forward." The filly took home more than $92,800 worth of total earnings for owners Andy Miller Stable, Inc., Dumain Haven Farm and Little E, LLC. You can watch the full livestream of The New York Sire Stakes & USTA District 8 Awards here. From the New York Sire Stakes

Harness racing trainers Ron Burke and Julie Miller have three of the four richest 2-year-olds in Friday's Breeders Crown eliminations at Harrah's Hoosier Park - Venerate, Southwind Gendry, and Blue Diamond Eyes - and both trainers feel good about their entries overall as they prepare for the night. Hoosier hosts $25,000 eliminations for 2-year-olds and 3-year-old fillies Friday. The 3-year-old fillies include returning Breeders Crown champions Ramona Hill and Reflect With Me. The top-five finishers from each elimination advance to next week's finals. Elimination winners will draw for posts one through five for the finals. Eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers, 3-year-old male trotters, and older female pacers will be held Saturday at Hoosier. Eliminations were unnecessary for the Open Pace, Open Trot, and Mare Trot. Burke, who ranks No. 2 among all trainers in Breeders Crown history with 17 trophies, will send out 12 horses in Friday's elims, including male pacer Southwind Gendry and female pacer Blue Diamond Eyes. "I think they're all going to be competitive," Burke said. "I'm happy with where most of them drew. We're just going to try to get as many in (to the finals) as we can and then get ready for next week." Southwind Gendry has won eight of 10 races this year and earned $409,269, tops among 2-year-old male pacers. He brings a six-race win streak to his elimination. His triumphs include the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final and three Grand Circuit stakes (Elevation and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion). The gelding competes in the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old male pacers and will start from post two with driver Yannick Gingras. "He's super sharp and drew a good spot," Burke said. "I can't be happier. He has a real good attitude about winning. That's what most impresses me. He seems to want to win." The first elimination also includes Metro Pace winner Exploit and Indiana Sire Stakes champion JK Going West. The second elimination features undefeated Perfect Sting (8-for-8) as well as Metro runner-up Bayfield Beach and the season's fastest male pacer, Lou's Pearlman, who won a division of the Bluegrass in 1:49.1. Burke also trains Lou's Pearlman, the winner of five of 10 starts this year. "He started out great, then hit a little dry patch, but his last couple have been excellent," Burke said. "He's another one that's really coming in sharp and ready to go." Blue Diamond Eyes races in the second of two eliminations for 2-year-old filly pacers. She has won four of nine starts, finished second three times, and earned $383,417. Her victories include sire stakes championships in Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Her foes in the elimination include stablemate Scarlett Hanover, the Ontario Sire Stakes champion who finished first in the She's A Great Lady Stakes but was disqualified for causing interference in the stretch. "I can't be happier with (Blue Diamond Eyes); she's become one of the better fillies of the class," Burke said. "I'm thrilled with her. We thought she was our best filly and then she went the wrong way for a little bit. When she went to Lexington (for the recent Grand Circuit meet) she turned everything around. It all came together. "Whatever was wrong, she fixed it on her own, basically. Since then, she's been very good." The first elimination for 2-year-old filly pacers includes She's A Great Lady winner Caviart Audrey, Indiana Sire Stakes champion Somethingbeautiful, and Fire Start Hanover, who is on a five-race win streak. Miller-trained Venerate leads all 2-year-olds in purses with $690,614. The trotting colt won the Mohawk Million and Kentucky Sire Stakes final in September. He went off stride in his most recent start, a division of the International Stallion at Lexington's Red Mile. He is in the second of two eliminations for 2-year-old male trotters. "He can be his own worst enemy," Miller said. "He has to mind his manners, that's his biggest thing. He's kind of immature mentally and is still trying to figure out what we're asking of him. He wants to do the right thing, he's trying to figure it out. But he trained very well and I think he's on his game right now. I think he's peaking." Venerate's rivals in his elimination include undefeated Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Captain Corey (5-for-5) and Peter Haughton Memorial winner Zenith Stride. The first elim includes William Wellwood Memorial winner On A Streak and Grand Circuit stakes winner Cuatro De Julio, whose 1:51.3 mile in a division of the International Stallion makes him the fastest of the Breeders Crown hopefuls. In the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female trotters, Peaceful Way winner Donna Soprano headlines a group of eight in the first elimination. The Luc Blais-trained filly has won five of six starts, including a division of the Champlain Stakes, and finished second to colt Venerate in the Mohawk Million. She leads 2-year-old filly trotters in purses with $433,570. The first elimination also includes New York Sire Stakes and Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes winner Iteration as well as recent Grand Circuit stakes winner Beautiful Game. In the second elimination, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Flawless Country, Kentucky Sire Stakes champion Lady Chaos, and Indiana Sire Stakes champion Swift Swanda are among the hopefuls in a field of nine. Among the 3-year-old fillies, Tony Alagna's Hambletonian winner Ramona Hill competes in the second of two eliminations for 3-year-old female trotters. The most recent Breeders Crown-winning 2-year-old filly trotter to repeat at age 3 was Ariana G in 2016 and 2017. Her foes in her elimination include Love A Good Story, who earlier this month won the Kentucky Filly Futurity for trainer Miller. "We just tried to nurse her this summer in the New York (Sire Stakes) program and then target the Futurity and Breeders Crown," Miller said. "She's an easy keeper and loves her job and is full of energy. She's been a consistent, honest filly for us." Burke sends out Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Moni Maker Stakes winner Crucial in the second elimination and Sister Sledge, last year's Breeders Crown runner-up, in the first. Neither hit the board in their two most recent starts, but Burke said they were suffering from stomach issues. "We worked on them and they look better, and they trained great," Burke said. "I'm hoping we're going to turn them back around." The first elimination for 3-year-old filly trotters also includes New York and Kentucky sire stakes champ Hypnotic AM and Indiana Sire Stakes champ May Baby. Reflect With Me, another Alagna trainee, is in the first of two eliminations for 3-year-old filly pacers. The most recent Breeders Crown-winning 2-year-old filly pacer to repeat at age 3 was Warrawee Ubeaut, just last year. Her elimination includes undefeated (13-for-13) Party Girl Hill, who beat male rivals in her most recent start in the Tattersalls Pace. Her wins also include the Jugette and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final. The second elimination includes last year's Dan Patch Award winner, Lyons Sentinel, along with New York Sire Stakes champion Hen Party and Indiana Sire Stakes champion Priceless. Priceless is a newer addition to Miller's stable. She will be making her third start for Miller in the Breeders Crown elim. "We kind of did a test run the first time with her so we could figure out how we wanted her to be and she really raced well," Miller said. "She really likes that Hoosier track. There are a lot of nice horses in there, but she deserves it and it's her home turf. Hopefully, she'll have a little advantage there. "Things seems to be going our way right now," she added. "We're very thankful and fortunate. I hope it continues." Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Friday at Hoosier Park. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

This year's harness racing season has been hard on so many but not so much for Love A Good Story (Chapter Seven), the sophomore trotting filly trained by Julie Miller. Dominating a small but fierce division, she's swept all five legs in convincing fashion and now boasts over a half million dollars in career earnings. Miller, who is currently second in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) trainer standings, has her eyes set beyond this weekend's $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway. "We have the option to go onto Lexington as long as she maintains being happy and healthy," said Miller. "We hope to bring her back next year." Andy Miller pilots the 3-year-old for his wife and owners Daniel Plouffe, Pinske Stables and Kentuckiana Racing Stable. "She and Andy have a great connection you just dream about," said Miller. "Real fortunate, she's dominating that level of competition and things have really worked out for her." In 2019, Love A Good Story, demonstrated her promise, winning six legs and finishing fifth in the NYSS Final on her way to more than $230,000 in seasonal earnings. Miller's plan for the 2-year-old at the time seemed to pay off. "We gave her a lot of time, raced at Lexington and then we elected to put her away and give her green grass, some vacation time and then picked up training back in Florida," said Miller. "When back in Jersey, she matured. She filled out and she knows her job and what she is supposed to do." Miller will look to finish the season with a perfect NYSS record. With so many changes to this year's schedule due to COVID-19, Miller reflected on her preparation for this weekend's finals. "There was a little bit of time in between the races - a longer time frame. I was able to train her easy last week - I'll train her up," said Miller. "New York Sire Stakes is the toughest spot to race in. To be a part of the race and be successful, it's all you want." Love A Good Story heads into the Night of Champions as the top overall earner in NYSS purses this season and will look to boost her already impressive $226,850 bankroll in the final for 3-year-old filly trotters, which goes off as race two. She drew post five in the seven-horse field, but will have to contend with top filly Hypnotic AM, who drew inside her in post three. New York's richest night of harness racing returns to Yonkers Raceway this Saturday. Eight final events featuring the best state-bred 2- and 3-year-olds will be contested for $225,000 purses each. Post time is 7:12 p.m. A full list of entries can be found here. By Eliza Bianco, for the New York Sire Stakes  

On Saturday,harness racing trainer Julie Miller will experience her Hambletonian present. One night earlier, maybe she will get a glimpse at her Hambletonian future. Miller sends out Big Oil in the first of Saturday's two $50,000 Hambletonian eliminations at The Meadowlands. The top-five finishers from each elim advance to the $1 million final for 3-year-old trotters Aug. 8 at The Big M. On Friday, she will watch Venerate in the lone $20,000 elimination of the Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters at The Meadowlands. The top-seven finishers will join bye recipients Locatelli, Spy Booth, and Type A in the final, also Aug. 8. Big Oil is 10-1 on the morning line in his Hambletonian elimination. Andy Miller will drive the colt, who starts from post four. Back Of The Neck is the 2-1 favorite, followed by Amigo Volo at 7-2, Beads at 9-2, and Dan Patch Award winning filly Ramona Hill at 5-1. Ready For Moni is the 5-2 favorite in the second elimination. "I'm proud just to be in the race, first of all," Miller said. "I think that's a really deep group. I think it's the tougher (elimination) but it's going to be even tougher next week, so we might as well get it figured out this Saturday. I just hope we have a little luck. Actually, a lot of luck." Big Oil, a son of Father Patrick out of former Miller standout and world-record-setter Cee Bee Yes, won two of eight races last year and hit the board a total of six times. He finished in a dead-heat for win with Real Cool Sam in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Red Mile in 1:52.1, a clocking that was the second fastest of the year for a 2-year-old male trotter. This season, Big Oil opened with wins in a conditioned race and division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars before finishing third behind Back Of The Neck and Third Shift in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. "I've been trying to manage him and get ready for this race," Miller said. "I just hope I've got my I's dotted and my T's crossed. I think he's special, but of course because he's mine, I think that way. I just hope I've got him the best he can be and he can leave it all on the racetrack. "When Andy gets behind him and they start to go, he gives 110 percent. He's handy, it's not like he's got to be raced from behind or he's got to be up front or he's got to have this or that. He has a good relationship with Andy and when Andy asks, he's going to deliver." Big Oil, a homebred owned by Jason Allen, Doug Allen, and Ron Allen, also owns a big personality. "No matter what is going on, he never loses his zest for life," Miller said. "He has this whinny where he doesn't open his mouth, it's like an internal one; it's the weirdest thing I've ever seen. He's got such a personality. Anybody that comes in the barn, everybody knows him. He makes sure his presence is felt. He's just a fun horse in that respect." Prior to last year, Miller posted three consecutive top-three finishes in Hambletonian finals. In 2018, Met's Hall finished second to Atlanta. In 2017, Devious Man was third-placed-second and a year earlier Sutton was a fast-closing third, beaten only a neck, in the race won by Marion Marauder. As for the Haughton elim, Venerate won his only start this year, a 1:55.1 triumph in a conditioned race at The Meadowlands on July 17. The colt is 7-2 on the morning line, second choice behind 3-1 Caruso from Hall of Famer Joe Holloway's stable. "He's just been a pleasure," Miller said. "He doesn't realize what he's doing yet and it's fun to see his development. He's a big good-looking colt. People always ask me, 'Who is that?' He's eye-catching on the track." Venerate is a son of standout French sire Love You out of Peaceful Kemp. He sold for $90,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes 2014 Hambletonian winner Trixton as well as Dan Patch Award winners Andover Hall and Conway Hall. He is owned by Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable Inc. Carter Pinske had the colt in Florida for the winter before sending him north to Miller's stable in New Jersey. "We went down a couple times to train with Carter and we were really impressed with him," Miller said. "As luck would have it, he is Kentucky sired, which starts (its sire stakes series) after this race, so we really just babied him along. I was happy with his race, for him to get stretched out a little to see what we've got. I think he deserves a chance in (the Haughton)." In addition to the Haughton elimination on Friday, there are two $20,000 elims of the Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old female trotters. Insta Glam, 2-for-2 on the Pennsylvania stakes circuit for trainer Nancy Takter, is the 7-5 favorite in the first; New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Altar, from trainer Per Engblom's stable, is the 8-5 choice in the second. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT) Friday and Saturday at The Meadowlands. For Friday's complete entries, click here. For Saturday, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

Top Flight Angel, the winner of the 2017 Yonkers Trot, is ready to return to the races this week and his connections hope he will be continuing his ascent to the million-dollar level. A 6-year-old stallion, Top Flight Angel has won 14 of 65 career races and $902,820 for breeder/owner Alan Hainsworth, a New Yorker who races under the name Legendary Standardbred Farm. Hainsworth has a special bond with the horse because he owns Top Flight Angel's sire, the 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel, and dam, Top Photo. "It's fantastic," Hainsworth said. "He's grown up into a beautiful horse, so perfectly gaited, and he's very easy to drive. He's got a lot of brains. I want to race him until he makes a million dollars, then we'll see where we are with him. He's been a great horse." Top Flight Angel is beginning his fourth season in the barn of trainer Julie Miller. He battled sickness last year, limiting him to three victories, but after a nearly two-month respite won a qualifier last Friday at The Meadowlands in 1:54.2 and has been entered to race this weekend. "We gave him a lot of TLC and time to get over (his illness)," Miller said. "I thought that was a pretty decent qualifier the other day up there at The Meadowlands. "He's always been a pleasure to be around. He's a beautiful horse and he loves his job. You're not supposed to fall in love with them, but he would definitely be on my list of favorites. When he goes on the track, you know that no matter what, he's going to give it his all." Winning the Yonkers Trot with Archangel provided Hainsworth with a great memory. Capturing the Trotting Triple Crown event a second time with Top Flight Angel might even have topped the first. "Winning it once is like a miracle, and then to win it twice with the father and son and same owner, that was big," Hainsworth said. "To win it twice, there are hardly any words. If I ever got there again, I would probably be crying. I haven't given that thought up, either." Eleven days after Top Flight Angel won the Yonkers Trot, he rolled into Batavia Downs for a division of the New York Sire Stakes. He won in 1:54.3, equaling the track record set five years earlier by his father, Archangel. "That was another unbelievable night," Hainsworth said. "I was impressed with how he got around all those tracks in New York," Miller said. "You could send him anywhere and I knew he could handle those half-mile tracks and handle that grind. He was just that class of horse." Top Flight Angel, who finished second in the 2018 Breeders Crown Open Trot and was runner-up in the Harry Harvey Invitational the same year, will likely spend a good amount of time this season competing at The Meadowlands and Yonkers. "Hopefully he can make a couple hundred thousand this year," Hainsworth said. "I'd like to get him to the million-dollar mark," Miller said. "That's always a nice accomplishment for any horse to make it to that point." If Top Flight Angel reaches that level, he would join his father in the million-dollar club (Archangel banked $1.14 million) and become his father's second offspring to surpass the barrier (joining Guardian Angel AS). And while Hainsworth will be watching Top Flight Angel, he will also be keeping tabs on Archangel-sired newcomers heading to the races later this season. Hainsworth's own Angel Nation, purchased under the name Stable Genius for $60,000 at the 2018 Standardbred Horse Sale, is among them. He did not race last year as a 2-year-old. "He's a beautifully gaited horse, that's what is so nice about him, and he looks terrific," Hainsworth said. "It's exciting to have the stallion and watch these owners that have their new Archangel babies come on board. I spend quite a lot of time in Canada (where Archangel stands) watching these new ones come up. I get a big kick out of it. That's pretty exciting to me." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

French Cafe and Sexy Wow traded wins in the first two legs of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Standardbred Development Fund for three-year-old filly trotters. French Cafe was the 1/2 choice to win the NJSS-SDF Final on Friday afternoon (Oct. 18) at Freehold Raceway, and lived up to the hype. Driver Andy Miller put his filly right on the lead early, letting her cruise through a half-mile in a meandering 1:00. George Brennan made a menacing first-over move with Sexy Wow nearing the three-quarter point, but French Cafe brushed her off and drew off to victory by 3-1/2 lengths. Marveloustrix got up for second, edging out Sexy Wow. French Cafe has now won eight races from 21 career starts, including two legs of the Kentucky Sire Stakes earlier in the year. She's trained by Julie Miller and owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Her victory was one of four for Andy Miller on the Friday card, as he swept the early pick 4. Miller also won with Deep Dreamer in Race 2, Rockn Legend in Race 4, and Real World Goal in Race 5. He teamed up with leading trainer Nick Surick on all three of those wins. That makes 116 wins for Miller at Freehold this calendar year, good for first place by more than 50 victories. Live harness racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, with a scheduled first post time of 12:30 p.m. From the Freehold Raceway Media Department

Freehold, NJ  --- Trainer Tom Fanning elected to bypass the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes-Standardbred Development Fund (NJSS-SDF) with his trotter, No Drama Please, hoping to keep him fresh for the later legs in the series. The strategy worked like a charm, as No Drama Please won the second leg of the series for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters on Friday afternoon at Freehold Raceway. One of Lucas Wallin's two trotters in the field, Sovereign Deo, went out and set a loose early lead. Aided by some breaks to his chief rivals, he was in front by six lengths heading up the backstretch the final time. Nearing three-quarters, Austin Siegelman launched his rally with No Drama Please, advancing him up the pylons with dead aim on the leader. Turning for home, Sovereign Deo was still in front, but No Drama Please had all the momentum, and he coasted on by for a 1 1/2 length victory. No Drama Please showed promise as a 2-year-old, including a victory in the NJSS-SDF Final over this track. However, while he's picked up $106,000 worth of paychecks, this was his first win of his sophomore campaign, from seventeen starts. He's owned by Joseph Smith, and was bred by TLP Stable of New Jersey. He went the mile in 1:58.1. The second leg of the NJSS-SDF for 3-year-old filly trotters drew a field of four, and was contested as a non-wagering race. French Cafe was sent right to the lead by driver Troy Beyer, and held steady for a 1 1/4 length victory. She went the mile in 2:00.1 for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfield, and trainer Julie Miller. That was her fourth win of her 3-year-old year, including two victories in Kentucky Sire Stakes action at the Red Mile. She's earned almost $106,000 this year. Live racing continues on Saturday at Freehold, with a 12-race program beginning at 12:30 PM EDT. From the Freehold Raceway Media Department

The past week's racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono was highlighted by a mandatory Rainbow Pick 5 payout, which awarded winning tickets at over $1,200 a pop Sunday night. It will be fun to see how high the Rainbow rises as it starts up again and rolls through the rest of the season at Pocono. As usual, we saw some outstanding performances over the past four racing programs, and we highlight the best of those now by handing out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: TEXICAN N This 11-year-old gelding has been a stalwart performer throughout his career. In fact, he's not that far off from having a million dollars in purse money. Where once he was a top Open and condition performer, these days he plies his trade in the claiming ranks and recently has found the old fastball for trainer Brittany Robertson. After a few near-misses, Texican N scored a win in a $20,000 to $25,000 claiming handicap on August 17, utilizing a pocket trip for the 1:51:2 score. On Saturday night, Texican N was back at it against the same claiming class, this time leaving from post position #3 and doing so as the 2-1 favorite. Texican N left early for the lead, but then watched as Beach Memories moved past him on the first turn. In the previous start, the gelding sat in the pocket behind Beach Memories and prevailed late. But this time around, driver Matt Kakaley urged the veteran on for a quick retake of the lead on the front stretch. The move seemed to take the stuffing out of Beach Memories, who wasn't a threat from there. Texican N had to deal with other horses in the field making a late play, but he was up to the challenge. He ended up coming home a winner by 1 ¾ lengths over King Harvest in a sharp winning time of 1:50:4. And, with the win on Saturday night, he proved that he could still dominate the proceedings rather than just relying on a trip to win. Other top pacers this week include: Torrid Bromac N (Pat Berry, Traci Berry), who won his second straight $15,000 claimer on Saturday night and fourth out of five overall in 1:51; Daamericansky (Marcus Miller, Mark Silva), who rolled to his second condition win in his last three races on Sunday and did so in a new career-best time of 1:49:3; and Lady Dela Renta A (Anthony Napolitano, Jose Godinez), who moved up in class for her second straight win at Pocono on Tuesday night, this time capturing the night's featured condition pace for mares in a new career-best time of 1:49:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SATIN DANCER Winning a Sunday night featured trot at Pocono these days is quite an accomplishment. It doesn't seem to matter the condition or the purse; the field always seemed to be stacked from inside to outside with top competitors, making it like a gauntlet for anyone brave enough to tackle it. This past Sunday night's edition, a condition with a purse of $17,500, was no different. Moving up in class to face a group like that is a tough task, but that's just what Satin Dancer was undertaking. The five-year-old mare trained by Travis Alexander was coming off a victory in her previous start at Pocono at the $14,000 level in 1:54:3. In the Sunday night tilt she was the 4-1 fourth choice on the board, leaving from post position #4 in a field of eight. And, as in her previous start, she left in a hurry, grabbing the lead after a brief speed duel with 2-1 favorite Two AM. From there, driver Dexter Dunn was able to rate the pace favorably because no first-over challenger came along to speed his horse up. As they hit the top of the stretch, only Two AM was still hanging around with a chance to derail the mare. But she closed out the mile as powerfully as she began it, keeping Two AM at bay to win it by a length as the only distaff horse in the entire field. Not only did Satin Dancer conquer the feature with her second straight win, but she also did it in 1:53, which matched her career-best mile in the process. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Lionbacker Kidd (Marcus Miller, Bucky Angle Jr.), who picked up his second straight condition win on Sunday night, scoring in 1:55:3; Broadway Mojo (George Napolitano Jr., Brandon Presto), who followed up a win at the Meadows with a claiming handicap victory at Pocono on Sunday night in 1:55:1; and Amador (Marcus Miller, Joseph King), whose upset win at Pocono in a condition trot on Sunday night in 1:54:2 gave him two straight victories, with the previous one coming at Harrah's at Philadelphia. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: MACH WEST Despite a romping win at Tioga in his previous start, this pacer driven by Anthony Napolitano got away at 33-1 in a condition on Sunday night and won it to pay off $68.80 on a $2-win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANDY MILLER Miller had a blast on the Labor Day card, coming up with winners in four of the day's dozen races, cashing in with a favorite every time. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: JULIE MILLER You might have guessed from above that Monday was also a big day for Julie, as she went a perfect four-for-four on the day with her trainees. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs        

WILKES-BARRE, PA - There was one sure way - and it was the only way - to cash a ticket on a favorite during the Labor Day Monday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. You bet on a Julie Miller-trained harness racing horse. Julie combined with driver/husband Andy to send out four horses on the twelve-race Pocono card. All were favorites; all won and took lifetime marks; and none of the other eight favorites could get home first. Two of Team Orange Crush's winning quartet were two-year-olds: the Father Patrick - Bell Power trotting filly Becky Kronos, who broke her maiden in 1:57.4 for Bruni Racing Team AB; and the Sombeachsomewhere - Pleasure Beach pacing filly The Bethinator, an import from Hawthorne who ran her lifetime mark to 4-for-5 with a 1:53.4 victory for the Megan Rogers Racing Stable. The sophomore Donato Hanover filly American Kronos, last seen in an Hambletonian Oaks elimination, found Tuesday's easier company to her liking as she tallied in 1:53.3 for Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, and Dr. David Goodrow. And then there was the Muscle Hill four-year-old American Moni, the last foal out of the champion mare Moni Maker. He hadn't won at two and three in limited attempts; in 2019 before Tuesday's race he had a first and two seconds before eliminating himself with a break over sloppy going. Here American Moni put it all together as the Pocono players' heavy chalk, stepping to a 1:53.3 best clocking for the Moni Maker Stable. The two younger performers won by 1¾ lengths and ¾ of a length, respectively; the latter two won by 8½ and 7¾ lengths, respectively. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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