07/24/2014 10:56AM

Meadows: Miller confident in Adios contender Somewhere In L A

Chris Gooden
Somewhere In L A starts from post five in the $400,000 Adios final.

Driver Brett Miller went to one of his former racing homes last Saturday to capture the Battle of Lake Erie with Clear Vision at Northfield Park. This Saturday afternoon he travels back to Washington, Pa., another former home, in quest of the $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios with elimination heat winner Somewhere In L A.

Miller is of course right at home at The Meadows and understands how to get around the track. Last Saturday he guided the Somebeachsomewhere gelding for trainer Jimmy Takter flawlessly in winning one of three elims in 1:50 flat.

“He just exploded,” said Miller of the stretch drive that saw Somewhere In L A vault around the field and draw off impressively.

[DRF HARNESS: Watch the $400K Delvin Miller Adios & the full Saturday card from The Meadows - LIVE on DRF!]

“I hadn’t driven the horse before but I’d seen him race,” said Miller of Somewhere In L A. The driver appears to have gained even more confidence after sitting in the sulky last week.

The Adios, race 12 among 16 on a star-studded afternoon in western Pennsylvania, has a long and storied history sprinkled with some major surprises. For Miller, a victory wouldn’t be that much of an upset. His horse starts from post five in the nine-horse field and the driver appears confident in his horse’s ability.

“McWicked has been impressive,” Miller said, “I’m hoping he has to get used at least a few times.”

Coming into the Adios final, McWicked, a son of McArdle, has ascended to the top of the division. Off a record-setting performance in the Max Hempt at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, McWicked breezed to victory over a sloppy track in last week’s trials. He marches into Saturday afternoon’s contest as the obvious heavy favorite having landed post two for driver David Miller.

Miller also drove Beat The Drum to a second place finish in another Adios elimination heat last week but elected to drive for Takter in the final.

“Jimmy has been great. He just gives you the lines and no instructions,” said Miller of the relationship that has blossomed this year.

Indeed this has been a fantastic year so far for the driver who formerly based himself at The Meadows but has realized the proximity wasn’t the best.

“It was just very hard to pick up drives,” said Miller. “Most of the horses were racing in the northeast and I had to make the move.”

The move was to a town just 70 miles outside of Philadelphia. A location that has allowed Miller to race at Harrah’s Philadelphia, Pocono, and The Meadowlands as well as experience the sport’s biggest races.

With more than five months left on the racing calendar, Brett Miller’s mounts have already earned $4 million with the driver aligned with leading trainers and leading horses.

Unlike the Battle of Lake Erie, that Miller won for the third time last Saturday, the driver has never captured the “Pace for the Orchids” in his career.

“It was really great going back to Northfield last week,” said Miller. “There were people, the same people I remember shouting and cheering from the grandstand. It was very special.”

At The Meadows, Miller will have to hope things work out perfectly considering how the draw played out. At Press Time, a runner-up in the Hempt final, drew post three for driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Ron Burke. Also starting inside will be local favorite Cammikey, a six-time winner in 2014.

Perhaps Somewhere In L A’s best chances would come should elimination winner Let’s Drink On It and Tyler Smith (post seven) get heavily involved in the early stages. While Smith has indicated just how powerful his horse races off of cover, that trip just may not be possible against this quality field with so many heavyweights on the inside of the starting gate.

The card also features the $114,175 Adioo Volo for three-year-old filly pacers, race 10 on the program with a first post time of 12:20 PM. The race drew 11 starters with Brett Miller guiding Also Encouraging, a Western Terror-sired filly from post 10 in the second tier for trainer Casie Coleman. Gallie Bythe Beach, winless in six starts this year, was installed as the 5-2 morning line choice with driver David Miller taking over the lines from post one.

[DRF HARNESS: Sign Up for the FREE newly designed DRF Harness Newsletter!]