Just as a pair of Millers from Illinois, Andy and Julie, dominated the Thursday features at Harrah’s Philadelphia, on Friday a Buckeye Miller, Hall of Famer David Miller, pulled the same feat, winning both divisions of the $12,600 top purse events and the $11,200 fast-class featured contest.
In the headliner for pacing distaffs, the Sweet Lou sophomore mare Ginger Tree Liz pushed her recent tally to two wins in three starts, circling wide off of cover approaching the stretch, making the lead, and then withstanding Tava (coincidentally driven by Andy Miller), who was on her back, by three-quarters of a length while lowering her mark to 1:53. Miller drove the filly to victory for hot trainer Steve Cook and the ownership of Sam Beegle, Ginger Tree Ventures LLC, Double D Racing Stable, and Reber-Chesen Stable.
In the top trotting event, the Chapter Seven three-year-old miss Trip Sevens looked all-out to keep up behind a cutthroat pace for this type, but Miller patiently guided her along and got the job done in a decelerating tempo, holding off Titans Hope by a neck in 1:55, still a lifetime best. Trainer Blake MacIntosh shares ownership in the three-time seasonal winner with Steve Heimbecker and Mortgage Boys Stable.
The veteran Betterthancheddar gelding Claytons Bettor N, tops in the fast-class contest, has now won three of four starts since being brought in to Harrah’s by the meet’s leading trainer, Kelvin “Red” Harrison. Miller made two speed moves with the Kiwi horse and the pair then withstood Mr Profeta by a neck in 1:51.4 for the ownership of Curtin ANZ Stables.
In all, David Miller drove four winners on the card. Simon Allard brought three horses home first, including two of that rare Philadelphia breed known as longshots: Tall Poppy N ($47.80) and Sportskeeper ($20.80).
Live harness racing resumes at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sunday at 12:40 p.m, with a carryover in both the first Pick-4 and the Pick-5. Next Wednesday, the Pennsylvania-sired stakes program makes its local 2021 debut, with top three-year-olds pacing fillies coming to town for their first preliminary leg in three Sire Stakes contests and seven Stallion Series sections. Program pages will be available at the PHHA website.