A field of eight of the sport's best 3-year-old colts and geldings have RSVP'd "Yes" to compete in harness racing's richest Invitational for pacers, the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park this Saturday night, Aug. 11.
Northfield's executive vice president of racing and simulcasting, Dave Bianconi, has received commitments from the connections of a diverse and accomplished group of horses, representing sires from six different states and Ontario. They will all converge on the Northeast Ohio oval on Saturday in Northfield's premier event of the season.
Headlining the field of eight is Ohio-sired Lather Up, champion of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park in June. Lather Up has banked over $500,000 in purses while winning eight of his nine starts thus far in 2018. Lather Up is the only horse in the field that has ever competed at Northfield, including a local victory in Ohio Sires Stakes competition last year. Clyde Francis of the George Teague Stable trains Lather Up for breeder/owners Gary and Barbara Iles of Harrington, Del.
Fresh off of a breakthrough victory in the $400,000 Adios at The Meadows, Pennsylvania-sired Dorsoduro Hanover enters the Milstein for harness racing's leading trainer in both wins and purses, Ron Burke. Burke recently surpassed the $200 million mark in career purses from his stable, and is a fixture atop the seasonal leader board for trainers in both wins and earnings from his starters.
Springsteen, winner of the $500,000 Max Hempt Memorial at Mohegan Sun at Pocono on June 30, enters the Milstein off an impressive score in New York Sires Stakes competition at Yonkers Raceway in his most recent outing. Rene Allard conditions the career earner of $522,048.
Jimmy Freight ventures south of the border on the heels of a career-best 1:48.3 romp in Ontario Sires Stakes company on Aug. 4 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. He is now a perfect four-for-four in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold events this year.
Always A Prince will race outside of Indiana for the first time when he lines up behind the Northfield Park staring gate. A winner of 11 of 13 career starts, Always A Prince crushed the field by over seven lengths in an Indiana Sires Stakes Final in his most recent outing at Hoosier Park on Aug. 1.
Multiple Delaware stakes winner Slick Tony will step into Grand Circuit company for the first time in Saturday's Milstein. The 80-year-old owner/trainer/breeder George Leager and his wife Nola paid only $500 for Slick Tony's dam, Queen Kathy. Slick Tony has rewarded the Leagers with 15 victories in 19 lifetime starts, and nearly $300,000 in earnings.
Making the longest voyage to Northfield is Iowa fair stakes legend Minnie Vinnie. A winner of 18 of 23 career starts, Minnie Vinnie had a profitable voyage east earlier this year when he finished second in the $300,000 Art Rooney Memorial at Yonkers Raceway.
Rounding out the Milstein field is the late-blooming Thinkbig Dreambig. Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter sends out the winner of over $125,000 in just nine lifetime starts.
The powerful field has combined to win 87 races and $2,769,468 in purse earnings.
They certainly arrive at Northfield in top form, as seven out the eight horses in the field were victorious in their most recent efforts.
The Carl Milstein Memorial post-position draw will be conducted onTuesday, August 7. It will be race 11 on a 16-race program that will also include the $50,000 Myron Charna President's Pace for veteran Ohio-breds and multiple divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes for three-year-old filly pacers. First race post time is 6 p.m. (EDT), with the Milstein scheduled for an approximate 10 p.m. start. (Northfield Park)