by Frank Carulli
August 22, 2020
RAMONA HILL CRUISES TO ZWEIG VICTORY
Ramona Hill bypassed this year’s Hambletonian Oaks and beat the boys in the Hambletonian. Her anticipated matchup against Oaks winner Sorella last Friday at Vernon Downs never materialized as an epic showdown.
Sorella broke stride behind the gate, leaving Ramona Hill in a virtual race of her own in the $160,140 Harry M. Zweig Memorial Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies. She was hustled from the rail to the lead for driver Andrew McCarthy and never looked back, winning in 1:52.
Ramona Hill shrugged off a challenged by pocket sitter Hypnotic AM (Brian Sears) on the final turn and won by a measured 1-1/2 length after a :27.2 final quarter mile. She paid $2.40 to win.
Her stature in the 3-year-old trotting division was enhanced when Hambletonian runner-up Ready For Moni (Matt Kakaley) ran a lifetime best 1:51.1 to win the $330,000 Zweig for open sophomore trotters later on the card. Ready For Moni, the 1-to-2 favorite, picked up cover behind Back Of The Neck (Scott Zeron) on the backstretch, blew past that rival nearing the far turn and won by 2 lengths as the top pair separated from the field.
IT’S DAVID MILLER FOR THE 13,000TH TIME
Hall of Famer David Miller became the fifth driver ever with 13,000 wins when he guided 27-1 Mr Censi to victory in a $10,000 conditioned pace Friday at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
The 55-year-old Ohio native joined Dave Palone, Tony Morgan, Herve Filion and Cat Manzi in the elite group. Miller also ranks second to Hall of Famer John Campbell in purse money earned with $244.5 million. Miller drove five Breeders Crown winners in 2015.
Miller began driving in 1977, but his 69,236 drives are the least among the all-time Top 5.
Miller, Dave Palone, Cat Manzi and Tim Tetrick rank in the Top 10 in wins and earnings. He was once asked his picks for the top five drivers, to which he replied “I’d have to say the top five would be the guys that made the most money.”