by Bob Heyden
With a second-place finish Monday (July 3) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, David Miller jumped over Ron Pierce into second place on the all-time money list for drivers, behind only John Campbell.
As of July 4, the leaderboard looked like this:
1. John Campbell $299,899,341
2. David Miller $215,358,358
3. Ron Pierce $215,341,239.
Miller moved up the list driving Bye Hanover for trainer Brian Brown in the third race Monday, finishing 1 ¾ lengths behind Double A Mint in a race with a $30,000 purse. Miller then added a couple of more seconds in the PASS and a third in a $14,000 overnight to finish at $215,358,358.
The five drivers who have been second to Campbell on the all-time list are Herve Filion, Bill O’Donnell, Mike Lachance, Ron Pierce and now David Miller.
Two, and perhaps three, Hambletonian champions have been, or will be, in action at the Meadowlands this weekend. Market Share raced Friday, Marion Marauder races tonight and both 2017 hopefuls International Moni and Walner also race this weekend.
Marion Marauder will make history with his Graduate start tonight. He is the first Trotting Triple Crown winner in 47 years to be back on the track and racing at four since 1970 when Lindys Pride did it — the year after Nevele Pride did it.
On this date in Big M history
On this date in 1994, Beat The Wheel edged by Pine Chip in a 7:30 non-betting event and scored in world record time — 1:51.4. Cat Manzi drove the mare to victory over the defending Trotter Of The Year Pine Chip, who would repeat that at 4 in 1994, making him the last trotter to twice be Trotter Of The Year in the only two years he/she raced.
Meadowlands Pace elims through the years
• In 1977 and 1978 the eliminations and final were held the same night.
• John Campbell (1982 Hilarion) and Mike Lachance (1988 Matts Scooter) both won the Meadowlands Pace final before they ever won an elimination.
• The 2008 Meadowlands Pace final was the reverse of an elim that year — Somebeachsomewhere over Art Official in the final but not in the prep.
• Ralph Hanover is the only horse to win the Meadowlands Pace, the Triple Crown and not be named Horse Of The Year. Cam Fella earned that honor in 1983.
• The last time Cam Fella missed the board in his career was in his 1982 Meadowlands Pace elim when he got no money and did not advance to the final.
• What do these seven names have in common? Always B Miki, Life Sign, No Nukes, Abercrombie, Somebeachsomewhere, Bettors Delight and Artsplace. All were Meadowlands Pace final runnerups.
• These four division winners all finished seventh in the Meadowlands Pace final: 1987 Jate Lobell, 1989 Goalie Jeff, 1992 Western Hanover and 1999 Blissful Hall.
• Jerry Silverman was the first trainer to win the Meadowlands Pace and not drive.
• In 1982, Campbell got the assignment when Billy O’Donnell qualified a pair and Campbell became the first catch driver to win the Meadowlands Pace.
• In 1993, Riyadh was the first horse to win his Pace elimination in sub 1:50 (1:49.4). He finished third in the final.
• Miss Easy broke in the 1991 Meadowlands Pace eliminations, but won easily in the consolation over Cambest.
• Brett Pelling twice won the Meadowlands Pace on his birthday (July 17) in 1999 with The Panderosa and in 2005 with Rocknroll Hanover.
• In 1995, there was a tie after the elims for the fourth spot between CA Connection and Davids Pass. The coin flip went to Davids Pass — and he went off the favorite and won for Campbell-Pelling.