07/18/2015 9:04PM

Meadowlands: Spirit To Win posts huge upset in Delvin Miller Memorial

Derick Giwner
Spirit To Win (5) blew up the tote board.

Spirit To Win (Brett Miller) upset the field at 48/1 to win the $187,000 Delvin Miller Memorial on Saturday at The Meadowlands in a career mark of 1:52 by a nose over Mission Brief.   Spirit To Win is trained by Dustin Jones and owned by Frederick Hertrich and Noblock Racing Stable.   

Livininthefastlane (Andy Miller) was first to the lead before being overtaken at the :28 3/5 quarter by Mission Brief, who took the lead to the :57 half and on to the 1:25 2/5 three quarters.  It was at that point that Andy Miller pulled the right line on Livininthefastlane and she briefly got a nose in front of Mission Brief before yielding when they hit the stretch.  While those two were battling up front, Spirit To Win slid up the cones in to third and angled out to take a shot at those two.  She trotted straight past them for the win.   

Mission Brief, wearing trotting hopples for the first time in a purse race, was second and Livininthefastlane was third.   

“I drove her last start at Chester and Chester (Harrah’s Philadelphia) is kind of a tough track,” said winning driver Brett Miller.   “She wasn’t getting over the track very well and honestly, for her to finish third, she raced really good.  Actually tonight, top of stretch, she had a lot of trot.  I didn’t know if we’d have time to get there but this is a serious filly.  Top of the stretch, I said, ‘We’ve got a shot to be third here,’ and halfway down the stretch I said, ‘we’ve got a chance to win here.’  I popped her (ear) plugs and Dustin told me this was the first time with the ear plugs and when I popped them, she really took off.” 

“We thought she was (a top filly) last year,” said trainer Dustin Jones.  “But she ended up cracking a pastern so we had to stop with her, but we were really high on her last year.  Chris (Christoforou) did a great job driving her as a two-year-old and qualifying her for us this year.  We wanted to start her at Mohawk and give her an overnight.  We had two sire stakes at Chester and Pocono.  I trained her at the farm a mile in :56 last Saturday.  When you know the filly, I thought she might be third or fourth in there.  Then when she got away fourth behind the best horses in there, I thought she was in a good spot.” 

Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications

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