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It's Miller Time In Molson Pace Elims


Published: May 21, 2010 10:28 pm ET

Last Comment: May 28, 2010 1:30 am ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Next Friday night's $310,000 Molson Pace will be the richest purse ever offered by Western Fair Raceway and judging by the three $20,000 eliminations this evening, one of the most exciting.

Top driver Dave Miller was late getting from the London airport to the racetrack, but the frantic trip was certainly worthwhile as he captured two of the three eliminations and was second in the third.

Stonebridge Terror was the first London winner for Miller as he captured the first $20,000 elimination despite going off as the longest shot on the board at odds of 19-1.

Miller tucked his charge in behind pacesetter and favourite Legal Litigator (Mark MacDonald), who reeled off fractions of :26.1, :55.2 and 1:23.2 but could not hold off Stonebridge Terror, who nipped him at the wire to win in 1:52.1. Legal Litigator held for second while Southwind Lynx (Corey Callahan) was third.

While the result may have been a surprise to many bettors, trainer Jean Louis Aresenault wasn't shocked by the outcome.

"The horse didn't know he was the longest shot on the board," he noted. "We had a good position, the two-hole, which was very good with Mark [MacDonald and Legal Litigator] leaving hard. He’s just a nice horse. It was only his third start back [since February]. When he gets a good position he’s good. He gets around a half real good. It worked out perfect."

When asked what he told Miller before he hopped in the bike, Arsenault responded: "I told him he's a nice horse to drive, most of the drivers tell me he's push button. He got him into a good position."

Stonebridge Terror, a four-year-old son of Western Terror, returned $40.80 to win. The victory was his second of the season in eight outings bumping his earnings to $37,470 for owners David Lumsden of Ancaster, ON, Reginald Petitpas and All In Racing Stable of Shediac Bridge, NB. He is now an eight-time career winner with $629,903 in the bank.

Miller came to London specifically to drive Won The West, the richest horse of the 22 in the elims with $2.2 million earned, and he didn't disappoint. 2009 Molson Pace runner-up Lucky Man (Mark MacDonald) set the tempo of :26 and :54.4, but Miller pulled his charge just past that point and was on top by the 1:22.4 third panel and was home first in 1:51.3. The time of the mile set a new track record for aged geldings. Lucky Man held for second while Annieswesterncard, driven by Miller's cousin Brett Miller, was third.

"He's a true professional," Dave Miller said of the six-year-old Western Hanover son trained by Ron Burke and owned by the Strollin Stable of Marion, William Robinson and James Koehler of Findlay, Ohio.

"I wanted to ensure I got a good position and was lucky to get a good seat. He's game first up as he showed. I came to drive Won The West and I'll stick with him in the final."

Won The West returned $3.40 to win as the 3-5 favourite. The 28-time career winner is two-for-four this year and has yet to finish off the board earning $88,840.

The third elimination saw Chasin Racin and Corey Callahan hit the first quarter first in :27, but Dave Miller and Foiled Again took over just past that station to pace through the middle splits in :55 and 1:23.1. Jody Jamieson sent Hypnotic Blue Chip three-wide as the field approached the three-quarters and battled with the leader down the stretch and went on by to win easily in 1:52.2. Foiled Again stayed for second while Pangiorno (Doug McNair) was third.

Hypnotic Blue Chip returned $15.40 to win as the 6-1 second choice. The four-year-old son of Art Major notched his third win in nine starts this season and lifted his earnings to $46,650 for trainer Kevin McDermott and owner Francis Azur of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. The winner of 15 races lifetime now boasts a bankroll totaling $619,058.

The top two finishers, and two third place finishers drawn by lot, will contest the $310,000 final next Friday night at Western Fair, which will be the track's richest night of racing as the four City of London finals and an OSS Gold final will also be contested.

The draw, made by London Knights' Coach, co-owner and local horse owner Dale Hunter, was conducted after the final and the result is as follows:

$310,000 Molson Pace
PP - Horse
1. Won The West
2. Lucky Man
3. Stonebridge Terror
4. Foiled Again
5. Legal Litigator
6. Hypnotic Blue Chip
7. Southwind Lynx
8. Annieswesterncard
1AE: Pangiorno
2AE: Panmunjom

Click on the following links for recaps of tonight's three Ontario Sires Stakes Gold elims for three-year-old filly pacers and the second leg of the City Of London Trotting Series.

To view Friday’s results, click here.

(with files from Western Fair Raceway)

May 28, 2010 - 1:30 amWon The West will be

john king SAID...

Won The West will be awefully hard to beat with the rail. The race should be a good one with this talented field, anything can happen in a horse race but i look to Won The West to win it and with the right conditions you could see a new track record. Good luck to all the horses and their connections chasing this big race and rich purse.

May 26, 2010 - 12:05 amCan they beat Won The

Ward Zinn SAID...

Can they beat Won The West?
Good luck to all

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