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Odds On Amethyst Heads To U.S.

Published: May 19, 2017 11:40 am ET

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After a seven-race win streak was snapped on Thursday night, early season sensation Odds On Amethyst will make his next start against a select field of open class trotters stateside.

Three millionaires, one soon-to-be millionaire, and a quartet of sharp upstarts comprise the 2017 Maxie Lee field for Aged Trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday, May 28th. It is one of three invitationals on the day's program, each going for a purse of $150,000.

Canadian-based Odds On Amethyst will bring his sharp form to the Chester oval for the Maxie Lee. The six-year-old gelded son of Muscle Hill-Mystical Sunshine has won seven of his last eight starts on the WEG circuit, mainly against preferred types. The Pat Hudon trainee is not the only entrant sporting sharpness, however. Peter Tritton student Springback Sam N and Andrew Harris trainee Taco Tuesday fit the bills as well. The former is coming off of three narrow defeats facing the top rank at Yonkers, while the latter has won four of his last six against Open competition.

The leading money earner in the field is the five-year-old Crazy Wow. The son of Crazed-No Pan No Gain won over $1 million dollars as a three-year-old, which included wins in The Colonial at Pocono and The Bluegrass at The Red Mile. Although the Ron Burke trainee had only one win as a four-year-old, he finished the campaign strong with a narrow defeat in the TVG Free For All at The Meadowlands. So far this season, he has a pair of second-place finishes, with his most recent being in The Arthur Cutler Memorial. The Cutler winner (Resolve), will compete in the Elitlopp at Solvalla Raceway in Sweden.

Rene Allard trainee Charmed Life and Kevin Mc Dermott pupil Meladys Monet are the other members of harness racing's millionaire club lining up in the Maxie Lee.

Charmed Life is riding a wave of sharp form. Her most recent start was a win in the Miami Valley Distaff, which spoiled the debut of 2016 Dan Patch/O'Brien Award winner Hannelore Hanover.

Meladys Monet has also had a sharp beginning to his campaign. The eight-year-old gelded son of Revenue S-Keystone Melady has four wins in seven starts this season, only being worse than second once. Meladys Monet leads the potential Maxie Lee field in career wins with 44.

2015 Dan Patch winner JL Cruze will also be a part of the star-studded lineup. JL Cruze was the first trotter to win a race sub-1:50 over a mile track. Part owner Ken Wood, who owns a drilling company, began drilling in Africa 11 years ago with the hopes of getting people clean drinking water in impoverished areas. Much of JL Cruze's 2015 earnings were used for the cause. The six-year-old gelded son of Crazed-Topcat Hall is less than $84,000 from the $1 million mark in career earnings. His most recent effort was a third-place finish in The Cutler at The Big M.

The wild card is European newcomer Tuonoblu Rex. The American-sired, Italian-bred son of Cantab Hall-Eternity Rex won his stateside debut in impressive fashion. He followed that up with an in-hand 1:53.1 win at Pocono, and a similar effort in 1:53 at Harrah's Philly. The Julie Miller trainee, who won a Grade 3 race at Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes as a three-year-old, has nine wins in 17 career starts.

The Maxie Lee Memorial Trot is named after long-time horsemen Maxie Lee. A native of North Carolina, Lee made a name for himself as a trainer and driver in the Philadelphia area at Liberty Bell and Brandywine. He had back-to-back Delaware Valley Harness Horse of the Year winners in the mid-1970s with Black Gamecock and Valley Ken. In 1990, Lee became the first African-American with a starter in the Hambletonian, with the Peter Haughton winner Backstreet Guy.

(with files from Harrah's Philly)

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