Harness racing and family are everything for Julie Miller. And the trainer of a number of trotting standouts this century feels incredibly fortunate to be able to share her career in the sport she loves with the people closest to her.
"I love every minute of it," Miller told Meadowlands presenter Jessica Otten in a live interview on Saturday (March 6), two days before Monday's observation of International Women's Day. "To work with my husband every day — and my dad and my mom help at the barn — I'm really lucky."
Miller, who has amassed over 2,000 training wins and over $46 million in purses, grew up around horses on her family's farm in Iowa, and found herself more thoroughly immersed in the sport during her nursing studies at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. — not all that far from Fairmount Park in the east suburbs of St. Louis.
"I was fortunate that Fairmount Park was a stone's throw away," Miller said. "I was able to work for a trainer there who had a claiming stable with about 25 horses. I was able to ride in the mornings, help him warm up, and complement my nursing schedule."
From those Midwestern roots, Miller blossomed into one of harness racing's most successful conditioners — but she stressed that her success wouldn't be possible without her entire team at home, including husband, driver Andy Miller, and their two children, Tyler and Olivia — both of whom grew up around the barn and share the same passion for the sport as their parents. In fact, when Julie notched her 2,000th career training win in the fall of 2020 at Freehold Raceway, the fact that it was a moment shared with family made it all the more memorable.
"That was a pretty special day," she related. "I was just really happy not only to get my 2,000th win, but then to have my son, Tyler, in the bike. It was a great experience, and I'm so lucky that my kids have the same passion Andy and I do."
The entire interview appears below.