06/07/2013 1:54PM

Vernon: Jurgen Hanover looks to stay perfect in $259k Empire Breeders Classic

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David Miller has driven Jurgen Hanover to a perfect 6-for-6 record in 2013.

At any level, in any sport, going undefeated is a difficult task. Jurgen Hanover has done just that in 2013. Perfect in six starts, he looks to keep his string alive in the $259,900 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs on Sunday evening.

After an abbreviated two-start season as a 2-year-old, Jurgen Hanover started off his sophomore year with a bang, a seven-length romp at the Meadowlands (March 7) with now-regular driver David Miller in the bike.

“Right from the get-go I liked him,” said Miller. “I flipped him out three wide off cover and he had another gear. Right then I knew he had talent.”

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Since that moment, Miller has been in the bike as Jurgen Hanover swept the Weiss series at Mohegan Sun Pocono and won a conditioned event at Harrah’s Philadelphia in a career best 1:54 on May 15. Despite the colt’s impressive record, he went off as the second choice in his two-plus length EBC elimination victory last Sunday.

Jurgen Hanover has shown more than just a desire to win. The son of Credit Winner-Yassi Hanover seems comfortable at any part of the racetrack and at any time in the mile. He has closed from last, been on the lead, and overcome uncovered trips on the rim to reach his favorite destination – the winner’s circle.

“He is very versatile,” said Miller. “In the beginning I thought he was better chasing horses, but since I’ve put him on the lead he seems to be getting stronger.”

While the Yonkers Trot is next on Jurgen Hanover’s dance card according to Miller, as with any 3-year-old trotting colt, especially one who is undefeated, you can’t help but dream of starting in the Hambletonian.

“I think his connections are taking it one step at a time,” said Miller about Jurgen Hanover, who is trained by Donna Marshall. “At this point, I wouldn’t be afraid to go with him (in the Hambo). Some of those other colts have gone in 1:52 already, but I would like to try him and see.”

Jurgen Hanover is listed as the 7-2 second choice from post 4 for owners Norman and Gerald Smiley and the T L P Stable. His road to a victory on Sunday may go through Tirade Hanover. A winner of 8 races in 12 lifetime starts, the gelded son of Crazed rode a pocket trip to a 1:53 1/5 elimination score last week; one second faster than Jurgen Hanover’s 1:54 1/5 clocking.

Programmed as the ninth race on the 12-race card, which gets underway at 6:45 pm, the nine-horse EBC Final for colts shares the spotlight with a $237,600 filly companion event (race 6).

Lola De Vie is the morning-line choice at 5-2 with driver Jim Morrill Jr. slated to steer from post 2. Perfect Alliance is rated the 7-2 second choice starting just to her outside with Ron Pierce in the bike.

Miller will drive semi-longshot Fifty Shades from post 5. The pair rallied nicely for second in last week’s elimination and Miller is looking at similar off-the-pace tactics again.