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Miller On His Tuesday Stakes Drives

Published: July 16, 2018 10:24 am ET

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Twenty-eight freshman trotting colts and geldings will face a major test in Tuesday’s $184,588 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at the Meadows. While most of the youngsters are impeccably bred and well connected, two from trainer Julie Miller’s stable — Prospect Hill and Klutzy — appear particularly promising.

The stakes, known as the Hickory Pride, will span Races 1-4. Andy Miller is set to drive both Prospect Hill (Race 3, Post 4) and Klutzy (Race 2, Post 3). First post will be at 1:05 p.m. Also on Tuesday, the Meadows will announce the field for the $450,000 (estimated) Delvin Miller Pace for the Orchids. Adios eliminations are scheduled for this coming Saturday (July 21) and the final will be contested the following Saturday.

Prospect Hill passed his initial stakes challenge with flying colours with a nine and a quarter-length romp in 1:56.4 in a PA All-Stars split. The son of Muscle Hill-Louise Kemp earned back a big chunk of the $130,000 he cost as a yearling.

“The Muscle Hill colts are high priced, so we had to spend a little bit more for him,” Andy said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked of him. He’s very playful, but versatile. He doesn’t have to be on the front or come from behind. In the All-Stars, he trotted home in :28 handily. Before that at the Meadowlands, he followed a couple good colts and finished right close to them.”

Klutzy, of course, is derived from the Yiddish word for clumsy, and although the name doesn’t suggest the grace and power you’d like to see in a young horse, Miller indicates the connections never considered changing it.

“I don’t put a whole lot into names,” he says. “”That’s what his name was, so we left it at that.”

Sure enough, after his win at first asking, the son of Cantab Hall-Upside Hanover — a $55,000 yearling acquisition — had a close encounter with a pylon in an All-Stars division and broke stride. His driver, however, exonerates him.

“A pylon was leaning out onto the track,” Miller says. “He got a little close to it, jumped away from it and made a break. It wasn’t really his fault.”

However they fare Tuesday, the two youngsters are extending the extraordinary relationship between the Millers and the colts’ owner, Stroy Inc., the nom de course of Natalia Stroy. A resident of Russia, Stroy visits the U.S. several times each year to touch base with the Millers and review her American operations.

The partnership now races a horse with a Yiddish-influenced name as well as the three-year-old trotter Seviyorum, a Turkish expression that translates as ‘I love’ or ‘I like.’ They also campaigned the top trotter Devious Man, who earned nearly $1.4 million for them.

Nothing klutzy about that.

(With files from the Meadows)

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