07/02/2016 9:49PM

Pocono: Ben Franklin showdown goes to Always B Miki

Nikki Sherman/DRF Harness
There were nothing but smiles in the winners' circle after Always B Miki's Ben Franklin triumph

Fans that showed up at Pocono Downs on Saturday night for the $500,000 Ben Franklin showdown between Wiggle It Jiggleit, Freaky Feet Pete and Always B Miki certainly got their money’s worth. All three top older pacers saw the lead at one point in the mile with Always B Miki proving best in a 1:47 clocking.

Wiggle It Jiggleit fired off the gate for driver Montrell Teague as expected, but they had plenty of company from Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick. Montrell gave up the lead without a tussle at the opening quarter in 25 4/5, but Always B Miki was sent hard by David Miller down the stretch the first time to rush to the front.

The scene was set as the three public choices had position. Wiggle It Jiggleit would pop out of the three-hole on the second turn to turn up the heat on Always B Miki at the half in 53 seconds. The 4-year-old 'WIJI' and the 5-year-old ‘Miki’ went head-to-head down the backstretch to the tune of a 26 2/5 third quarter. As the war continued on the final turn, Freaky Feet Pete sat a cozy pocket trip.

As the “big three” hit the head of the stretch it was clear that the divisional leader would come down to Always B Miki and Freaky Feet Pete. ‘Pete’ took his shot up the passing lane but could not make a serious dent as Always B Miki held sway by three-quarters of a length. Wiggle It Jiggleit was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

“I didn’t expect to cut it out (the pace). I was expecting to be first- or second-over, but you never know until the gate folds. It didn’t go how I expected at all,” said Miller after the win. “I was a little worried about Freaky Feet Pete. In 1:19 2/5 I wasn’t thinking about world records, I was thinking about winning.”

“He is the best pacer of all-time,” said trainer Jimmy Takter after the win, before praising his competition. “They all raced fantastic. The track was really not as fast as it was last week. It is a colder evening. If it was a warm evening, I think they would have gone a second faster.”

Always B Miki ($5.20) won for the fifth time in seven starts this year and increased his yearly earnings to $341,500 for owners Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter. The 1:47 winning time matched his career best set the previous week in his elimination.

Always B Miki is expected to head to the William Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands on July 16 for his next start where he will likely meet up with both Wiggle It Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete, who will likely head to the Graduate Final at the same track one week earlier.