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Miller Nears Major Milestone


Published: March 10, 2009 1:10 am ET

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David Miller is not ready to retire anytime soon, but he is at the point in his harness racing career when he can look back on his accomplishments with satisfaction. And in the coming weeks, he will add to his achievements.

Entering Monday, the 44-year-old Miller needed 19 wins to reach 9,000 lifetime driving victories. Miller ranks as the 11th leading driver in harness racing history for wins and, with $122 million in purses, ranks fifth in earnings.

"I can look back and think I did something good," Miller said with a laugh. "I know it's going to be more of a common thing now because you're racing year round and you can race at different tracks, but (9,000 wins) is something I'm proud of.

"It's like hitting home runs or something. It's been going really well and I just hope it continues."

Miller is off to a fast start at his home track, The Meadowlands. He leads the driver standings in both wins, with 76, and earnings, with $1.3 million, this season.

"It's going good there," Miller said. "I'm just getting the drives for some good trainers. I've got some good horses I'm hooked up with right now; that's all the difference right now. I guess you could say it's a little bit of luck. It's just been clicking."

Miller won the Clyde Hirt Series final with Rocknroll Band and the Tender Loving Care Series final with Yellow Diamond. He was second Rocknroll Band in the Exit 16W final, with Riggins in the Aquarius, and with Hypnotic Kris in the Super Bowl.

Rocknroll Band, who was victorious in the opening round of the Four Leaf Clover Series on March 7, has won six of seven races this year and earned $116,250.

"He's a very nice horse," Miller said. "He can do anything he needs to do. He can leave, he can race off the gate; he's just a real professional horse to drive. I know you hear this time and time again, but that's what it takes. They have to be able to do anything you need. He's very handy."

Miller's career started in his native Ohio, where he followed in the footsteps of his late father, Donny, and grandfather, Clyde. Miller won his first race in 1981 and by the early 1990s was the dominant driver at Scioto Downs and on the Ohio Sire Stakes circuit. He was the U.S. Harness Writers' Rising Star Award winner in 1993.

He moved to the East Coast in 1999 and shared the leading driving honours at The Meadowlands with Luc Ouellette in 2003. That year, he won the Pacing Triple Crown with No Pan Intended, who was voted U.S. Horse of the Year. Miller was named Driver of the Year by the harness writers.

Last year, Miller won a career-best $12.2 million, thanks in part to Breeders Crown triumphs with Fox Valley Topaz and A And Gsconfusion, plus wins in the Little Brown Jug, Adios, American-National, and Windy City with Shadow Play. Miller has won more than $10 million in seven of the last eight years.

"I still feel pretty young at heart, so I think that's a big plus," Miller said. "I've started paying attention more to my body as far as exercising and taking care of myself. I think that's important. I figured if I try to keep fit and take care of myself, maybe I can get a few more years out of myself.

"That's one good thing; you never know what's down the road. Hopefully, it's good."

Top 10 N.A. Drivers – Wins
1. Herve Filion - 15,174
2. Cat Manzi - 13,253
3. David Palone 12,915
4. Tony Morgan 12,851
5. Walter Case Jr. 11,038
6. Dave Magee 11,001
7. John Campbell 10,083
8. Mike Lachance 9,993
9. Billy Parker Jr. 9,530
10. Jack Moiseyev 9,227

Top 10 N.A. Drivers – Earnings
1. John Campbell - $263 million
2. Mike Lachance - $178 million
3. Ron Pierce - $148 million
4. Cat Manzi - $134 million
5. David Miller - $122 million
6. Luc Ouellette - $122 million
7. Jack Moiseyev - $114 million
8. Steve Condren - $103 million
9. Bill O'Donnell - $98 million
10. Tony Morgan - $96 million.

(Harness Racing Communications)

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