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Top Trotters Clash In Titan Cup

Published: July 1, 2009 6:01 pm ET

Last Comment: July 2, 2009 6:14 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Lucky Jim has given trainer Julie Miller few anxious moments this year on his way to winning all 13 of his races. Last weekend, though, Miller was a little on edge.

That’s because the four-year-old trotter was making his first start since going off stride on June 19 in a qualifier at the Meadowlands. Although nothing was at stake in the qualifier, it was an eye-opening occurrence.

“Everyone got a reality check,” said Miller, whose husband Andy is the horse’s driver. “It gave me a little stress because I thought he was bombproof. Andy said (Lucky Jim) was looking around and not paying attention. It was a serving of humble pie. I’m just happy he came back so strong.”

The trotter bounced back last weekend to win the Invitational at the Meadowlands by more than three lengths over Four Starz Speed in 1:52.2. On Saturday, he returns to stakes action when he faces five other trotters in the $203,000 Titan Cup at the Meadowlands. The remainder of the field is Corleone Kosmos, In Focus, Arch Madness, Lanson, and Four Starz Speed.

Lucky Jim, who is the top-ranked horse in harness racing’s weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10 poll, will start from post five with Andy Miller at the lines. Lucky Jim’s triumphs this year include the Maxie Lee Memorial and Arthur J. Cutler Memorial. He has earned $410,075 for the season. He is owned by David Prushnok, John Prushnok and William Gregg.

“It’s just great to be associated with a horse like him,” Julie Miller said. “We’re very grateful.”

Among those looking to knock Lucky Jim from the ranks of the unbeaten is the “old man” of the group, defending Titan Cup champ Corleone Kosmos. The seven-year-old trotter, driven regularly by John Campbell and trained by Darren McCall and Ross Croghan, is coming off a win in the Trotting Classic at Mohawk Racetrack. He was second to Lucky Jim in the Cutler Memorial on May 16.

“He’s a little bit of an old man, but he’s tough,” said Bryan Owen, the Corleone Kosmos spokesman for owners Arthur Rudolph, Rudolph Stables and Bernard Owen. “Obviously, we were disappointed in the results of the Cutler; not in the horse’s effort, but in the way it ended up. If we’re close at the top of the stretch (Saturday) I think we’ve got a shot. But Lucky Jim has been very impressive.”

For the year, Corleone Kosmos has won once in five starts and earned $254,662. He has won 19 times during his career and earned $1.9 million. A victory in the Titan Cup would push him to the $2 million mark. Not bad for a horse that made just $1,250 during his first two seasons combined.

“Going over $2 million, that’s something we would be most proud of,” Owen said. “We’re still planning on bringing him back next year. He’s tough. He’s just getting older.”

(Harness Racing Communications)

July 2, 2009 - 6:14 amOutstanding field of

Outstanding field of trotters... I would be excited to own anyone of them. Good Luck to all the connections.. May the best horse win! The Best trip wins these races, when the field is so closely matched.. Drawing inside never hurt either..

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