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Lisagain Resembling Big Brother?


Published: March 30, 2010 6:30 pm ET

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Maybe Lisagain shares more than a similar name with his famed half-brother Lis Mara . Trainer Erv Miller hopes so.

On Saturday, Lisagain won the $130,000 Four Leaf Clover Series final at Meadowlands Racetrack. This season, the four-year-old has won five of eight races, with no finish worse than third, and earned $121,310.

Suddenly, his career path is starting to look comparable to that of Lis Mara, who at the age of four blossomed into a Dan Patch Award winner. Of course, what happens from this point will determine whether Lisagain and Miller can repeat history again.

Lisagain, by Dragon Again out of the stakes-winning mare Lisheen, was purchased as a yearling for $260,000 and was unraced as a two-year-old. Last season, he won four of 19 starts and earned $101,031. He won a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and was second in a division of the Burlington Stakes, but was shut down for the year after back-to-back seventh-place finishes in July at the Meadowlands.

“He was a big beautiful colt,” Miller said about Lisagain as a yearling. “He just wasn’t able to handle it as a young horse. It’s kind of like the other brother, Lis Mara. He had some trouble as a young horse and came along pretty good as he got older.

“(Lisagain’s) maturity held him up. It’s a matter of time. We changed his routine a little bit, but the main thing was time. At high speed he had a little trouble getting it all together. But that’s the way it goes; you’ve got to just wait on them until they’re ready. Patience pays off.”

Lis Mara won $7.165 as a two-year-old and at three used in-the-money finishes in the Confederation Cup and a division of the Simcoe Stakes to help earn $212,718.

As a four-year-old, Lis Mara started the campaign by winning three of eight races, hitting the board seven times, and earning $89.575. From there, he took off - winning seven of his last nine starts (with two second-place finishes) and banking $1,042,110 - on his way to Older Pacing Horse of the Year honours. His wins included the Breeders Crown and the Canadian Pacing Derby.

The following year, he won just over a million dollars again.

Lisagain, owned by Mystical Marker Farms and John Carver, and bred by Tim Rooney, will get the chance to follow in Lis Mara’s hoof prints in major stakes action later this year.

“We’ve got to step it up and still get him figured out in the turns a little bit, but if we can get that done, I think we’re on our way,” said Miller, who trained Lis Mara as a four and five-year-old. “When we were training him down in December, he was a different horse. He was in much better shape than what he was as a three-year-old.”

In the Four Leaf Clover final, Lisagain and driver John Campbell used a first-over move entering the final turn and strong stretch march to edge favourite Alexie Mattosie by a nose and Golden Receiver by a head in 1:50.3.

“He can live outside, just like the other night; he comes first up and just keeps on coming,” Miller said. “That’s his best attribute.”

A perceptible increasing likeness to Lis Mara is not bad, either.

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S.
Trotting Association. For more information, visit


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