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March 24 a lucky day

March 25, 2007

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A victory in the $121,300 Four Leaf Clover made for a sweet birthday celebration for Crawdad and his co-owner Jennifer Black on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. The night also proved lucky for trainer Erv Miller as his other entrant, Western Shore, took home second-place money.

In the night’s featured seventh race, Crawdad hustled past Western Shore to take the lead in a :55.4 half and fought gamely through the stretch to hold off his stablemate for the length victory. Driven by Andy Miller, Erv’s younger brother, Crawdad paced the mile in a career-best 1:50 flat. Real Mean Art charged home to finish third.

“Everybody was just easing out of there and I just let him pace forward out of the gate,” said Andy Miller. “I thought I’d be first or second-over and the way the race unfolded, he ended up on the front. I knew it’d be a tussle to the wire [with Western Shore], but that’s the way it goes. It was a huge, huge effort.”

Crawdad and co-owner Jennifer Black share the birth date of March 24. The pacer was born in 2003, and Black in 1971. The common birthday was the main reason she and the members of the Red Barn Stable of Morrison, Ill., purchased the son of Art’s Conquest for $18,000 at the Cottonwood Yearling Sale. The other members of the Red Barn Stable are Robert and Mary Black, and Kevin and Susan Beth.

\"We picked him out of the sale because his birthday was March 24,” said Jennifer Black. “It was divisible by four and both our birthdays, so we picked him out. It’s so exciting for our family. We never thought we’d be here at the Meadowlands winning.”

Crawdad improved his career stats to 11 wins in 32 starts and $169,091 in earnings. Adding to the lucky coincidence, March 24 is also the birthday of Meadowlands race caller Sam McKee. (Meadowlands)
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