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Miller Ends Working Vacation Early

Published: March 18, 2016 10:01 am ET

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After a record-setting season in 2015 with an unprecedented five Breeders Crown wins, a career high in purses and his second Driver of the Year Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association, David Miller makes his full-time return to the racebike this Saturday.

There's plenty going on at The Meadowlands this weekend with March Madness featured in Victory Sports Bar, another handicapping contest dangling a pair of seats in the big $50,000 World Harness Handicapping Contest as bait and a spring break travel prize supporting the dozen live races on Saturday's card.

The Meadowlands racing continues to offer extraordinary value to the horseplayer with competitive races leading to a low percentage of winning favorites supplemented by low take-out and guaranteed pools on the exotics. Free programs for the Late Pick 4 both Friday and Saturday may be downloaded here, compliments of Trackmaster.

The racing feature on the Saturday card is a high-class condition pace with a compelling blend (both equine and human) of established performers versus the next wave of potential stars looking to make their mark. We'll compare the accomplished eight-year-old Great Vintage who is approaching $1 million in career earnings with Allbeef N Nobull who at half that age likely has his best days before him. Both are making their first starts of the 2016 season.

Great Vintage was actually brought back to the races from retirement last season (he's currently breeding mares as well) to pick up $219,840 and equal his career best 1:49.1 in just 17 starts last year. Along the way he raced in several stakes and beat the top horses in the Jerry Taylor invitational for trainer Jimmy Takter. After a few months away and three qualifiers to get into racing shape, Great Vintage will race on Lasix for the first time.

The Meadowlands welcomes USHWA Driver of the Year and Hall of Famer David Miller back from his Florida winter hiatus with Saturday's card. Miller is listed on a full slate of drives, among them is Great Vintage.

After scaling back his schedule for the early part of 2016 with a 'working vacation' in Florida, Miller sits less than $700,000 away from joining John Campbell and Ron Pierce as the only drivers in harness racing history with more than US$200 million in purses. He has ranked among the top five in purses in 16 of the last 17 years and holds the record for most seasons with at least US$10 million in purses, with 13.

Allbeef N Nobull didn't make many headlines last year, competing largely on the Pennsylvania Sire Stake trail, but did grind out $176,632 on the strength of six wins in 23 outings. He's had but a single qualifier in anticipation of his seasonal bow, that was a solid front stepping 1:55.3 mile with a sharp :27.1 close for 22-year-old rising star Joe Bongiorno, who drives for the Ron Burke barn on Saturday.

The balance of the field also appears to be in good form with Art History and K Lees Shakenbake both back after finishing one-two in last week's pacing feature. Nine good horses will face the Danny Dale starting gate in this one, race six on your program.

The fun begins with a first-race post time of 7:15 p.m.

(with files from The Meadowlands)

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