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Miller makes a Devil move

July 26, 2006
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Trainer Erv Miller told harnessracing.com Wednesday morning that anybody questioning his decision to scratch Western Shore out of Saturday’s $272,000 American National at Balmoral Park and move Devilfish in, should keep their opinions to themselves. With Western Shore out of the contest, that allowed Miller’s Devilish, who made a late break as the 3-5 choice in his Am Nat elim last weekend, to move into the two hole.

“They can question all they want,\" said Miller. “The owners discussed about Western Shore and the horse is not right, so they decided to give him a couple of months off. It didn’t matter (if Devilish or AB’s Beach Boy was the first also-eligible after both finished sixth in their respective elims), I wasn’t racing (Western Shore), regardless. I would not take one horse out to put another one in.”

Miller said that Western Shore bled after finishing fifth in both the elimination and final of the Hoosier Cup in late May at Hoosier Park, necessitating the addition of Lasix.

“Western Shore is not himself,” he said. “I took a shot after those double heats at Indiana to get him back. I did some work on him; we trained him back and qualified him once, and even put him on Lasix because he scoped sick at Indiana that night. He still didn’t come back to my liking, so after the race the other night I discussed it with (co-owners) Brittany and Ron Michelon and decided we were not going to race the other horse back.”

Miller said he trained Devilfish earlier Wednesday, and said that the son of Cam’s Card Shark owned by Daniel Waxman’s Vandalay Racing “was awesome. If he’s not the fastest horse I’ve ever trained, he’s close to it. I don’t know if we can hold him together as far as soundness, but he has some unbelievable speed.”

After going unraced at two, Devilfish won his first three starts this year, including a career-best 1:50.1 win at Hawthorne. However, he has made breaks in his last two starts, including one with a clear lead in mid stretch at the Meadowlands July 14, and another late in his Am Nat elim after being parked the mile. Miller said he was making some equipment changes for the final, including switching race bikes.

“I’m taking the (offset) Harmer bike off and putting a (regular) TelStar on,” he said. “I am going to try and not have as much lift on the horse.”
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