by Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
Making his move for the top midway down the backstretch, Always B Miki set fast fractions before driver David Miller implored him through the stretch, advancing to win the $138,000 Allerage Farms Open Pace in an all-time record mile of 1:46 on Sunday (Oct. 9) at The Red Mile.
Always B Miki broke the old world record of 1:46.1, set by Cambest in a time trial at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield in 1993. The previous race mark of 1:46.4 was shared by four horses — Holborn Hanover,Somebeachsomewhere, Warrawee Needy and He’s Watching.
Always B Miki got away third as Shamballa was sent to the lead through a :26.1 opening quarter. David Miller showed Always B Miki the whip and he rushed first over to claim command to the half, timed in :52.2. He continued his sprint around the far turn, passing three-quarters in 1:19.4 before being chased home by Shamballa and All Bets Off in the stretch.
A 5-year-old horse by Always A Virgin out of the Artsplace mare Artstopper, Always B Miki won his 27th race in 50 career starts, earning $2,296,368 for owners Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter. He is trained by Jimmy Takter and paid $2.10 to win.
“It’s a moment I’m never going to forget,” Jimmy Takter said. “You don’t get horses like this for long, and it’s definitely emotional to be around him. I can’t wait to see him as a stallion. His personality and everything about him will be well-received through the sport. He’s not the easiest horse because he had a lot of injuries, but what this horse overcame every single day, nobody else did.
“He has the Breeders Crown and TVG Final; those are the only two races left for him.”
“I really thought the three-quarters was maybe a little too slow,” Miller said. “But like I’ve said, he’s an incredible horse and does incredible things. I couldn’t be happier with him.”