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It's Miller Time in Zweig Stakes

by Frank Carulli

August 20, 2018


Met's Hall may finally get the respect he deserves.

He ran third in the Hambletonian elimination at 40-1 and rallied for second in the $1 million final at 29-1 earlier this month at the Meadowlands. But it wasn't enough to sway the bettors, who dismissed Met's Hall at 12-1 after he drew post 8 for the $350,000 Dr. Harry Zweig Memorial Trot at Vernon Downs last Friday.

There are more believers in the crowd after Met's Hall blasted to the lead on the 7/8-mile oval , survived a suicide duel with 6-to-5 second favorite Six Pack and held off trip-sitting, Hambletonian Oaks winner Manchego to win by a nose in a lifetime-best 1:52. He paid $27.60 to win.

Met's Hall led through a 57-second half-mile after the pace slowed in the second quarter. But Six Pack (Ake Svanstedt) pulled out of the pocket to engage in a hard duel that carried into the stretch. Manchego (Yannick Gingras), the 4-to-5 choice, tracked the top pair in a perfect spot and bid 3-wide in the stretch, only to suffer her third loss in 20 starts.

Andy Miller drove Met's Hall, a 3-year-old son of Cantab Hall, and Julie Miller trains for co-owner Stroy Inc. Met's Hall improved to 7-for-17 and his bankroll swelled to nearly $700,000.

It was "Miller Time" of a different sort in the $180,000 Sweig Memorial for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Supergirl Riley ($17.20) sustained a first-over bid and wore down 1-to-5 favorite Plunge Blue Chip (Svanstedt) for a 3/4-length win in a personal-best 1:54.3. Marcus Miller drove the upset winner for his father, Erv Miller.

IN THE XPRESSLANE: Hanover Shoe Farms purchased Columbia, a half sister to 2018 Hambletonian winner Atlanta, for $127,000 at an August 15 auction in Florida. ... The record numbers keep piling up for North America leader Ron Burke. He won six races at four different tracks August 14 to reached 9,000 victories. On The Virg, a 14-length winner at Northfield Park, gave Burke the milestone victory after he won three at the Meadows, one at Scioto Downs and one at Pocono Downs earlier in the day. His quest for toward 10,000 began when Bicorne Hanover won at Saratoga Raceway later that night. ... Eddie Davis Jr. won the 5,000th race of his driving career recently when Quick Shot went wire-to-wire at Plainridge Park. Davis' father, Eddie Sr., won 8,632 races in his career. ... The Meadowlands announced a 9-percent decline in on-track handle and 6-percent decline on the exported signal of its Championship Meet that ended on Hambletonian Day. ... Courtly Choice (David Miller) won the $272,025 Emprie Breeders Classic final in a track-record 1:48.3 for 3-year-old pacers Sunday at Tioga Downs and Youaremycandygirl (Yannick Gingras) lived up to odds-on favoritism by winning the $270,425 final for sophomore fillies.