09/24/2016 8:44PM

Hoosier Park: Always B Miki best in Hoosier Park Pacing Derby

Linscott Photography
There was no catching Always B Miki in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby

Always B Miki had the rail and wanted control of the $170,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby on Saturday night. With David Miller in the bike, the 5-year-old son of Always A Virgin, returning to his home state, went down the road in a 1:48 2/5 mile as the prohibitive 1-20 favorite.

Miller, who earned a natural hat trick with three consecutive stakes victories, left a little as Freaky Feet Pete pushed away at the start, but the two never engaged in a serious duel as Always B Miki led the field through the 26 2/5 opening quarter.

Always B Miki cruised to the half in 55 seconds and accelerated some to keep Dealt A Winner safely at bay through a 1:22 3/5 three-quarters. As the field bunched up in early stretch Miller asked the Jimmy Takter-trained stallion to pace, and the response was instant with a 25 4/5 final quarter assuring the win.  Freaky Feet Pete rallied back along the inside for second, with All Bets Off gaining the third spot for driver Yannick Gingras late.

Owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter, Always B Miki was a winner for the eighth time in 2016 in must 13 starts.

"He's right back on his game," said Miller following the race. "He did that very handy."

Co-owner and breeder Joe Hurley (Roll The Dice Stable) has had an eventful career of his own outside of racing but nothing has compared to his association with Always B Miki.

"It's the experience of a lifetime," said Hurley following the race in the winner's circle.