09/10/2016 10:17PM

Scioto: Always B Miki equals world record in Ewart Memorial thriller

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Brett Miller had reason to pump his fist in victory after Always B Miki's titanic effort in the Ewart Memorial

Rain may have dampened the race track, but it didn't take anything away from the $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial as Always B Miki out-kicked Wiggle It Jiggleit in an incredible 1:47 mile over a sloppy surface at Scioto Downs on Saturday night.  That time equaled the world record over a five-eighths mile oval that Always B Miki already shared with Sweet Lou.

It was an epic struggle from the start as the fans sent Always B Miki off at 4-5 favoritism with driver Brett Miller aboard for the first time. Miller left the gate a little but not nearly as quickly as Luck Be Withyou and Wiggle It Jiggleit. Those two duked it out through a vicious 25 2/5 opening quarter, with the defending Horse of the Year taking control after that pole.

Miller didn't waste much time with Always B Miki, getting the 5-year-old in gear passing the stands and moving right up to reach Wiggle It Jiggleit on even terms through a wicked 53 second half.  The pair dueled in an epic struggle down the backstretch, pacing an individual 26 second third quarter on even terms with both drivers asking for more and getting it.

In the homestretch pocket-sitting Luck Be Withyou looked to make it a three-horse race, but the top two would have none of it with Brett Miller urging Always B Miki home in the late stages.  Luck Be Withyou finished a credible third, with Freaky Feet Pete fourth in the field.

"It's tough to keep a horse at 100 percent peak," said winning trainer Jimmy Takter after the race. "But I warmed him up tonight and he felt good."

Driver Brett Miller was equally awestruck by the performance.

"I thought Wiggle It Jiggleit was coming back on at the head of the stretch, but he (Always B Miki) just kicked into another gear and took off," Miller said. "I've never driven a horse like this."

For Always B Miki, the victory broke a personal three-race losing streak, with the son of Always A Virgin winning for the 25th time in his career and pushing his bank account above the $2 million mark for the Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter.