Lucky Jim back; could go to Elitlopp
March 20, 2010
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Trotting powerhouse Lucky Jim got his 5-year-old campaign off to a triumphant start in the $32,000 invitational trot Friday night at Meadowlands Racetrack.
The 2009 Older Trotter of the Year got away fifth off the gate and was prompted to move around lagging cover mid-way down the backstretch as Likeabatoutahell carved the fractions up front. Lucky Jim floated up into second as they reached the three-quarter marker and edged past Likeabatoutahell at the top of the stretch. With driver Andy Miller at the lines, Lucky Jim drew off to a length victory over Green Day in 1:52.3. Likeabatoutahell held on to finish third.
Lucky Jim, who is conditioned by Andy’s wife, Julie, paid $2.60 to win his 2010 debut. It marked the trotter’s 15th consecutive victory at the Meadowlands and his first start in over a year without the respiratory medication Lasix.
“He got a little bit bigger, but his mannerisms and his equipment have not changed at all,” trainer Julie Miller said of Lucky Jim’s transition from ages four to five. “In his 4-year-old year, we were giving him the minimum amount of Lasix that a horse can have. With the layoff, everything heals up when it comes to their breathing and airway issues. I trained him down this whole season without ever giving him Lasix, so I said, ‘Why add it now?’ So we decided to take him off of it.”
Lucky Jim won 17 of 18 races, topped by a 1:50.1 world record in the Nat Ray, during his award-winning 4-year-old campaign. His stakes engagements this year begin with the Su Mac Lad Series (April 2) and Arthur J. Cutler Memorial (May 15) at the Meadowlands. If all goes well, the Millers and owners David and John Prushnok and William Gregg will send the son of SJ’s Photo-Hawaiian Sierra to Sweden for the famed Elitlopp on Sunday, May 30 at Solvalla Racecourse.
“I think we’re going to stay here and just go over for the Elitlopp, just the one race, and then bring him back to the U.S.,” Miller said. “If we decide to go, Jenny Melander, the assistant trainer for Erv’s [brother-in-law Erv Miller] New Jersey operation has agreed to be the caretaker for Lucky Jim,” she added. “Jenny is originally from Sweden and is certainly a competent person to be working for Erv. I think we have an advantage in having someone from Sweden who obviously knows the language and how things are done over there. That will be a great advantage for our U.S. team.” (Meadowlands)