Marcus Miller, a leading driver in his native Illinois before relocating east and showing he can drive with the best around, earned his 3,000th career victory by guiding trotter Boxing Gloves to a maiden-breaking 1:59 score Thursday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
The milestone victory was not an easy one for horse or driver, as the 6-5 favorite had to advance uncovered at the three-eighths and grinded away. But turning for home, the winning Muscle Hill colt seized the lead, and Miller kept his ridgling’s mind to business to the wire to score the milestone win. The victory was probably all the sweeter because Miller won for his father, trainer Erv Miller, who conditions the sophomore for Silver Linden Farms.
The 2016 Rising Star Award winner from the United States Harness Writers Association, the 29-year-old Miller certainly has talent running throughout his pedigree. In addition to father Erv, Andy Miller is his uncle and "Hurricane" Hannah Miller is his sister. Currently seventh in the standings among the all-star Philly drivers colony, Miller’s biggest career victory came in a 2016 Breeders Crown with Someomensomewhere.
In the $17,000 trotting feature, Victor Kirby guided New Heaven wire-to-wire from the outside post eight to take a new mark of 1:54.2. The son of Yankee Glide, trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc. and David Wills, dictated early fractions of :28.1 and :57.4, then was required to speed up as favored EI EI O stormed up uncovered, with those two nose-to-nose past three-quarters in 1:25.2. Through the stretch, New Heaven was under attack from every direction, from Pricelesspossesion in the passing lane to Casa Palmera not all that far removed from the outside fence. New Heaven held with determination, winning by a half-length over EI EI O, with Pricelesspossesion third and Casa Palmera fourth, both within a neck of second.
In the $14,500 co-feature, first-over Classic Belisima wore down pacesetter Sir John F and drew away late to tally by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:56. John Cabot trains the daughter of Crazed, who has now assembled a bankroll of $269,760 lifetime, for owner William Cantrell. (Harrah’s Philadelphia/PHHA)