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The Allens Hope Patience Pays Off Again

Published: April 21, 2012 2:09 am ET

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Jason and Doug Allen know that patience can be the key to success with a top trotter. The brothers and their parents Ron and Sandy Allen co-owned Fools Goal, the triple-millionaire, who finally hit his best stride at age seven.

The family is hoping to strike gold a little sooner this time with Top Billing in the $58,650 Spring Survivor Series trotting final on Saturday night at Meadowlands Racetrack. Top Billing is eligible to the $1.5 million Hambletonian on Saturday, August 4.

The colt heads a strong Julie Miller stable entry rated at 4-5 on the morning line in the second race. He will start from post five with driver David Miller, while his stablemate Trouble drew post six with Julie’s husband, Andy, driving.

Unraced at two, the three-year-old son of Andover Hall is two-for-two lifetime, winning both starts in 1:55.2.

Top Billing was a $22,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase by Jason, 32, and Doug, 30. They are the fourth generation to work in the family business, Allen’s Oil and Propane in Vincentown and Hammonton, New Jersey.

“He happened to have a good yearling page and turned out to be a good looker,” Doug recalled. “He could also trot in the field and when we went to the sale we were surprised he didn’t go for $100,000 or more. He had just gotten hurt before the sale. He had an injury to his eye. He had a cut and stitches. Maybe people were concerned it might have been an issue down the road. He stood correct, was average in size, and he was in our price range. I’m kind fond of Andover Halls.”

Top Billing was unraced as a two-year-old mainly due to health issues.

“He was sick most of last summer and had a lot of allergy problems last year,” he continued. “He was training down nicely until we sent him to Lexington and he didn’t ship well, so it was best to just shut him down. His first win [on March 30] surprised us a bit, but his second win last week was impressive. Hopefully, he can keep on going. Andy and Julie Miller have done a phenomenal job with him.”

The Allens, along with Bruce McElven, co-owned world champion Fools Goal. After struggling to stay on stride in the early years of his career, Fools Goal had a breakout $1 million season at age seven in 2002. The son of Armbro Goal was named the sport’s top older male trotter in the U.S. and won the $1 million Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands in 1:51.3.

“It seems like it’s been a while since Fools Goal was around,” said Doug. “He’s 17 now and living at Marvin Maker’s farm. Dad was the one who really got us into racing. My brother and I started going to the sales. We had that one good one in Fools Goal, and it’s just so hard to find another one like him.”

Fools Goal won back-to-back Breeders Crowns for Hall of Fame trainer Jim Doherty and driver Jack Moiseyev.

“The first Breeders Crown in 2002 at the Meadowlands was a highlight for me,” noted Doug. “Of course, Fools Goal made all those breaks and hardly made any money in his first few years of racing. It was so hard to figure out what was going on with him, and we didn’t know what to do. It was a mental thing with him, trying to build his confidence and putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. He had his good days and bad ones. Nevertheless, it was a great ride. There’s nothing like going to the track and watching a horse like him storming down the stretch.”

Meadowlands Closes Out Winter Season With Fan Appreciation Night

Giveaways, discounts and a handicapping contest highlight the final night of the Meadowlands’ winter meet on Saturday, April 21. All paid admissions will receive a past Meadowlands giveaway item, including hats, mugs, t-shirts and cooler bags. Plus, $1 specials will be offered on hot dogs, small sodas, coffee and donuts at concession stands.

The 60-second Wagering Spree will also make its debut. Winners will place as many free $2 exacta bets as they can in 60 seconds. Contest entry forms and official rules will be available at 5 p.m. at Guest Service locations. A $400 harness handicapping contest is also on tap. The top 10 receive prize money, while the top four qualify for the World Harness Handicapping Championship. Players may register between 5 and 6:30 p.m. in Raceworld Teletheater on the Paddock Level.

The track is dark next weekend, April 27 and 28. Live racing resumes Friday, May 4 with live music and the start of the summer-long Horseplay Car Giveaway.

(Meadowlands Racetrack)

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