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Passionate Glide wins Miller

July 14, 2006

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Trond Smedshammer tried to steal the $375,000 Del Miller Memorial Trot with Queen Serene, opening up a 10-length lead down the backstretch, but betting favorite Passionate Glide was ready to strike when her foe tired and won handily in 1:52.4.

Passionate Glide, last year’s Breeders Crown 2-year-old filly trot champion, trotted to her fifth straight win this season. Her victories have been so solid that her driver, Ron Pierce, has said she could beat the colts. Her winning time in the Miller final equaled her lifetime mark.

That won’t be happening as owner Brittany Farms, which also bred the daughter of Yankee Glide, said she’s on track to compete in the $750,000 Oaks on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands.

Smedshammer and Queen Serene zipped through fractions of :27, :54.1 and 1:22.4 before it became obvious Queen Serene couldn’t keep up her quick pace. No one moved to challenge during the quick pace and Pierce waited patiently with Passionate Glide.

\"[In the stretch] I was thinking whether I could run Trond down or not,\" Pierce said. \"I wasn\'t sure, but the filly kicked in and I went right by.\"

Trained by Jimmy Takter, the 2005 Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year is five-for-five this season. Her winning streak began with the Breeders Crown on November 26, 2005. She has won 10 of 16 career starts and earned $950,447.

\"Unfortunately, the filly was no good last week and I wasn\'t happy with her performance today,\" Takter said. \"I know it sounds selfish, but she pulled a hamstring muscle two and a half weeks ago in training and we\'ve been having a little problem working with it to get it good. She was a little bit better today but we\'ve got two weeks to the Hambletonian [$750,000 Oaks on Aug. 5] and we\'ve got to make sure she gets in perfect condition for that.

\"We decided [on the Oaks] that early because George [Segal], first of all, they have a very good colt they think they have a very good chance to win the Hambletonian with and they never won the Oaks with anything,\" he continued. \"It\'s a long year, she\'s got a lot of big races coming up later in the year. Hopefully she\'s the kind of filly you can race as a four and five-year-old. It\'s always tough to race against the colts especially for a filly but I think she would be competitive

Queen Serene, who had won her Del Miller elimination, held on for second money. That gave the Dream Vacation-sired filly three wins and three seconds in six starts this season.
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