10/15/2014 11:17AM

Maywood: Miller looks for elusive stakes win for Somewhere In L A

Derick Giwner
Somewhere In L A has earned over $444K despite no major stakes wins.

On Friday at Maywood Park in the $180,000 Windy City Pace, Somewhere In L A will attempt to accomplish something driver Brett Miller has already achieved in 2014—big-time success. While Miller has already reached new heights this year, Somewhere In L A, despite strong earnings, has yet to find the winner’s circle in a race with a $100,000-plus purse.

Miller began driving on a semi-regular basis back in 1994 with 360 starts but really became a mainstay in 2000 with 2,770 trips to the track. The Columbus, Ohio native had his best year in 2010 when he drove horses to $6,510,913 in earnings. That was until 2014. With more than two months of racing still to come, Miller has already seen his horses bank $6,711,046.

“I took a shot and hoped it would work out,” said Miller on moving further east in May from his former home track, The Meadows in western Pennsylvania. “It is hard to follow good stakes horses when you are living by The Meadows.”

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A big part of Miller’s success has been a relationship with top trainer Jimmy Takter. “I definitely didn’t expect to be driving for Jimmy. He’s a great guy to drive for. He just hands you the lines, tells you about the horse and says ‘good luck’. Honestly, I’ve been so lucky,” said Miller.

It was a year of firsts for Miller, who was in attendance on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands for the first time in his career and even scored a major upset with 92-1 shot Sweet Rock in the $225,000 New Jersey Classic.

“It was really exciting,” said Miller about driving on Hambo Day. “It might not have been one of my biggest purse races, but it was one of the biggest races I’ve ever won. I would have been happy just to win an overnight race.”

As for Somewhere In L A, it is hard to call his current campaign a failure. Without winning a single major race, the 3-year-old gelding has accumulated $444,812 in earnings while sporting a 19-6-7-3 record. The Takter trainee hasn’t finished worse than third since July 5 at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs.

“He’s such a nice horse,” said Miller about Somewhere In L A. “There is no doubt that he has raced as good as or better than a lot of horses he has raced against. He raced well while first-over in the Adios and Jug. Normal horses wouldn’t be able to take that trip.”

Somewhere In L A will start from post two against a somewhat second-tier group of sophomore pacers in the Windy City. His main competition is sure to come from his immediate left and right. Let’s Drink On It, another seeking his first major stakes victory despite over $335K in earnings, starts from the post one with Travis Seekman in the bike. He finished two lengths behind Somewhere In L A last week in a division of the American National at Balmoral Park. In post three, Big Boy Dreams looks for his second consecutive score after a wire-to-wire victory in the American National consolation on the same night. Tim Tetrick is listed to drive.

“I think he has a really good shot to win on Friday, but the horse that drew the rail is definitely one of the horses to beat,” said Miller, who admitted that in a perfect world he would like to cut the mile.

The Windy City is race nine on a 13-race card that also features four other stakes ranging from $37,600 to $92,300 on the purse spectrum. Post time is 8:10 PM.

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