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Team Miller favored in Super Bowl legs

January 19, 2011
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Julie and Andy Miller have an uncanny knack for bringing out talent in trotters, as evidenced by their latest success stories, Ellen's Isle and Dolce Ducci.
 
After obliterating the competition in round one of the series, Ellen's Isle and Dolce Ducci loom the ones to beat in the $12,500 second leg of the Super Bowl Thursday night at Meadowlands Racetrack. 
 Ellen's Isle and Dolce Ducci are rated as the 7-5 favorites in their divisions, races one and three, respectively.  Andy Miller will sit in the sulky behind both horses for his wife, trainer Julie.
 
Ellen's Isle entered the Millers' barn in November.  The 4-year-old daughter of Windsong's Legacy-Shan Riches was a $32,000 yearling purchase by Joe Krizan of New Egypt, NJ.  Partners Jason and Douglas Allen bought into the mare after she opened her career with impressive back-to-back wins on May 6 and 13, 2010 at the Meadowlands.  Lisa Pavia trained Ellen's Isle through the early part of her 3-year-old season, which included unsuccessful attempts at the Elegantimage at Mohawk and Circle City at Indiana Downs.  
 
Ellen's Isle made one start for the Millers, the Flower Street at Chester, in which she broke stride, before being turned out for a brief respite.  After a solid qualifier, she made her 2011 debut in the opening leg of the Super Bowl and romped by six lengths in 1:55.3.  She will start from post four in the second round Thursday night.
 
"We've had her for a couple of starts and she is extremely talented," Julie Miller said.  "She is very fast.  The only issue is her getting a little over excited when she races.  She is the real deal.  It is hard for a mare to go with the likes of Buck I St Pat, but I think it is attainable that she steps up.  Right now, though, I am just hoping to get through this series."
 
The Millers purchased Dolce Ducci, a son of Muscles Yankee-Self Indulgent, for $30,000 at the Tattersalls Mixed Sale on August 10, 2010.  The trotter caught their eye when he came first up to post a 1:55.4 victory in a conditioned race on June 10, 2010 at the Meadowlands.  Dolce Ducci has won three of his six starts for his new connections, including a gate-to-wire 1:57.1 score in the first Super Bowl leg.  He will start from post eight on Thursday.
 
"He showed some talent and he looked good at the sale," Miller said.  "Andy and I thought he would be a nice complement to our barn.  We have no long-range stakes plans with him.  As long as he is trotting soundly, we'll keep he racing him each week at the Meadowlands."
 
Dolce Ducci broke stride three starts back at the Meadowlands, but Miller notes that it was no cause for concern.
 
"Andy said that [Dolce Ducci] wanted to go and the opportunity presented itself to pull out, but that window quickly shut and he over trotted himself," she noted. 
 
The Millers built their reputation as trotting specialists with Lucky Jim, who won 17 of 18 races and $1.06 million en route to the Dan Patch Award as Older Trotting Horse of the Year in 2009.  In 2010, he won six of 13 starts and banked $489,144 with victories in the $125,000 Su Mac Lad at the Meadowlands, $143,600 Allerage Stakes at The Red Mile in Lexington and $195,000 Credit Winner at Vernon Downs.  He was also second in the Titan Cup and Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands.  Lucky Jim will return to the races for his 6-year-old campaign in 2011. 
 
Other recent trotting successes for the Millers include Mystery Photo, who banked just under $165,000 in 2010 and finished second in his Hambletonian elimination, open trotter Master Pine and stakes winners Perfect Photo, The Chancellor and Princess Lindsay.  (Meadowlands)

 

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