David Miller captured both $75,560 Old Oaken Bucket divisions Thursday afternoon at the Delaware, Ohio fairgrounds, including a world-record 1:53.3 effort by the 3-year-old gelding Dennis, as well as a 1:56.2 score with The Budster.
Miller had the 3-5 favored Dennis on the lead early, setting first-half fractions of :27.3 and :56, although he had to do a give-and-take with the Ron Pierce-driven Like A Dream. Reaching the three quarters in 1:25.1, Miller let out a notch and Dennis trotted away from the field, easily scoring by open lengths. Spam Spade was a distant second for Andy Miller, with First Pleasurelane third for Tim Tetrick.
Roland Mallar trains Dennis, a son of Lindy Lane. The trotter broke the previous mark for sophomore geldings on a half-mile track set by Define The World at Flamboro Downs on Aug. 17 by four-fifths of a second. Dennis is bred and owned by Robert Slowey, Anthony Minute and Dennis Osterholt.
"He showed some ability last year at two, but this is icing on the cake, I guess," said Mallar in the winner's circle. "This is the best he's been all year. He shows up every week. He has a couple starts now in late-closers in Lexington."
Miller moved The Budster from fourth first-over and the sophomore gelding trotter swept to the lead and the victory in the first split.
The Budster easily held off Foggy Lane K and Charlie Norris for his second win of the year in 14 starts. Foggy Lane K was part of a Robert Key-owned entry with Voila American (Tim Tetrick) but that one broke stride early and was not a factor. Over Ruled and John Campbell finished third.
The Budster is trained by Pete Foley and owned by Michiganders Gene and Steve Oldford. The time was a career best by nearly two seconds.