In her first drive after recently receiving the National Amateur Driver of the Year Award in south Florida, ‘Hurricane Hannah’ Miller was back in the winner’s circle again after copping a division of the NAADA Trotting Series with Warrawee Preferred at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon.
Ms. Miller, the first woman to be named Amateur Driver of the Year, received her award at the national Dan Patch Awards Banquet held in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on March 6, and she seems to be picking up where she left off last year when the talented miss reined 32 winners.
In a second split, Alan Schwartz with Bad I Am, and Dave Yarock up behind Mr Invincible, finished simultaneously to score the first dead-heat victory ever recorded in recent amateur racing history.
Both divisions were contested on a rainy afternoon over a race track rated ‘good’, and both competitive splits were decided by the photo finish camera.
In her division Miller used a second over trip with Warrawee Preferred to wear down the favourite and pace-setter Nautilus De Vie (Dave Yarock) in the deep stretch to score a head victory in a 2:01.3 clocking despite racing with an unhooked check.
“It (his overcheck) must have come unhooked somewhere in the mile and although he was running in on the turns he kept at his work and we overtook Dave’s (Yarock) trotter in the final strides to win it,” Miller said of Warrawee Preferred.
Rev Up The Spice (Bob Kenny) and Bloomfieldcantifly (Monica Banca) finished third and fourth, respectively, and both were in the win photo.
Owned by Dr. Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger, Warrawee Preferred paid $9.20 for win.
The second split was a barn burner and it took the judges five minutes to declare the race a dead-heat. The third-place finisher, Just Like Lloyd (Bob Kenney), finished third a neck behind the winners and fourth place went to The B Street Fan (Matt Zuccarello) a short length in the rears in the 2:03.2 trotted mile.
In that contest Dave Yarock and Mr Invincible grabbed the race track when the gate sprung and parked Bad I Am (Alan Schwartz) to the quarter before letting them take command.
“I was going to let Dave retake but since Bob Hechkoff (Alternat Thursdays) was also parked it never happened, “ Schwartz explained. “But with me on the engine and Hechkoff parked it allowed Dave’s horse to have a perfect covered trip.”
When the field trotted into the final turn Alternat Thursday was still third on the limb and when they swung into the stretch and Hechkoff’s charge faded Yarock aimed his trotter up the passing lane and he and Bad I Am finished simultaneously on the wire. Bob Kenney and Just Like Lloyd were struggling for racing room and they finished just a neck behind the top two. B Street Fan was in the picture also, but a short length back in fourth place.
Bad I Am, owned by Alan Schwartz and trained by Raheim Strong paid $5.10 for win. Mr. Invincible, owned and trained by Jimmy Doherty, Jr. paid $7.60.