Veteran driver Andy Miller recorded the 9,000th victory of his very successful career on Thursday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia when he came home first with American Filly in 1:52.1 for trainer Joe Pavia Jr.
The historic occasion was really a tale of four Millers – Andy had won two races earlier in the card with horses trained by his wife and Team Orange Crush partner Julie, putting him one victory short of the milestone. When David Miller took off his Thursday drives at Philly, Andy was tapped to handle American Filly – and through the stretch Andy’s nephew Marcus Miller gave valiant chase with Shady Stella, but American Filly stayed true to the finish for the milestone score.
The 49-year-old Miller was the top driver on the Chicago circuit for several years before coming east and finding even more success, branching out to Grand Circuit horses, especially trotters. He becomes the 22nd driver in North American history to get to 9,000 sulky wins (frequent competitor George Napolitano, Jr. had earned the distinction earlier this month), and is 14th among active drivers. Horses Andy has driven have earned over $118 million dollars.
On “Trottin’ Thursday” at Harrah’s Philadelphia, Moonshiner Hanover grinded first-over to a 1-3/4 length victory in the $17,000 feature while taking a new mark of 1:53.
George Napolitano Jr. had sulky duties behind the winner of $470,647 for trainer Chris Beaver, co-owner with Synerco Ventures Inc. and Bill Manes. Behind the winning son of Andover Hall, 51-1 proposition Bands Houdini won a three-way photo over EI EI O and Arch Credit to complete the exacta.
In the first of two $14,500 co-featured trots, P L Jerico went a tick quicker than the feature winner, 1:52.4, looking like a fine acquisition with upward possibility for trainer Ron Burke after taking his second straight start for his new stable. Yannick Gingras moved the gelded son of Manofmanymissions to the front off turn one, then drew off to a 5-3/4 length triumph for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
In the other division, the Equinox Bi gelding Playboy Buddy Rose (named after the wrestler who lost the opening bout at the first-ever Wrestlemania) moved to the lead past the quarter and won with authority in 1:55. The win for driver Marcus Miller boosted the “Playboy’s” lifetime earnings to $102,229 for trainer Linda Lambert and owner Lloyd Lambert.
(PHHA / Harrah’s Philadelphia)