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Milligan's School among PASS 2CT winners

July 07, 2015
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When Milligan's School captured a division of Tuesday's $216,980 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for freshman colt and gelding trotters at The Meadows, he brought joy to Julie and Andy Miller — and a little slice of Russia.
 
That's because Milligan's School is owned by Stroy Inc. whose Natalia Stroy operates a fair-sized stable from her Moscow base. According to Julie Miller, Stroy wanted to gain access to the American market, so Dr. Paul F. Spears, vice president of Hanover Shoe Farms, introduced her to the Millers. They helped her pick out the son of Yankee Glide-Tori Ann at Harrisburg and signed the ticket for $120,000.

"She wanted to race horses here,” Julie Miller indicated, "and as Paul Spears said, one of the best places to race in the U.S. is the Pennsylvania circuit. So I'm glad it worked out.”

Stroy's American adventure nearly turned sour when, in his career debut in a PA All-Stars split, Milligan's School was on the business end of a mishap and nearly knocked off his pins. The youngster showed no ill effects Tuesday when he responded to Andy Miller's urging and blasted past past the leader, Boyz N Guitars, to defeat him by 2 lengths in 1:57. Pastor Dudley finished third.

"We didn't make any changes,” Julie Miller said. "All we wanted was a trouble-free trip. If we had that, I thought he'd have a go, and he did.”

The stake, known as the Hickory Pride, was contested over six divisions, with Lagerfeld, Hititoutofthepark, Sliding Home, Dupree and Staying Focused taking the other splits. The Millers teamed for a second stake win with Staying Focused while Corey Callahan enjoyed a stake double (Hititoutofthepark, Sliding Home).

Lagerfeld is a full brother to 2012 Hambletonian runner-up Guccio, who was piloted and conditioned by Jimmy Takter. When Takter saw Lagerfeld at auction, he knew he had to have this yearling, so he joined with Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and Jim Fielding to purchase the son of Yankee Glide-Southern Senorita for $200,000.

In his career debut in the Hickory Pride, Lagerfeld began to pay dividends on that handsome investment, moving twice for Takter and surging late to defeat the game Raisethejollyroger by a neck in 1:58.1. Granite State earned show.

"He wanted to win,” Takter said. "I had to stabilize him in the last turn, but he raced a good race. He has the pedigree to step it up. I just have to teach him some things. I want him to come here and learn something for his future.”

Out before the half, Hititoutofthepark moved relentlessly to gobble up the leader and scored in 1:57, matching Milligan's School for stake honors. Brownie Hanover was second, 3 lengths back, while Major Matter completed the ticket.

"He's a little quirky,” Callahan said. "I kind of have to let him do what he wants to do. He definitely wants to do it. He has a great attitude. He's a little anxious and wants to go a million at the word "go.” He has to figure the whole racing thing out.”

John Butenschoen trains the $18,000 yearling acquisition, a son of Yankee Glide-Celebrity Liza, for Give It A Shot Stable, Kurt Welling and VIP Internet Stable.

Dave Palone drove three winners on the 15-race card.

Wednesday's program at The Meadows features five divisions of a PA Stallion Series stake for 2-year-old filly trotters. First post is 12:55 PM.

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