by Kimberly French, for Hoosier Park
The majority of the members of the Hoosier Park audience were in attendance to witness a show of superb speed and unrivaled power. They certainly received what they traveled to the Anderson oval to witness, as Always B Miki paced yet another tour-de-force in a facile triumph in the $170,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby on Saturday (Sept. 24).
“I think he and Wiggle It Jiggleit are horses before their time,” said David Miller, who steered the 5-year-old stallion through his mile. “They are just not like any other horses we have seen before. We will see other horses that come along like them as time goes on with their speed and how far they can carry it, but right now they stand alone.”
The overwhelming public selection at 1-9, Always B Miki and Miller left from the rail and went straight to the front. Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick were right on their heels from post position three as those two horses clicked off a first-quarter mile of :26.2.
Miller and Always B Miki pulled comfortably away from Freaky Feet Pete to lead by a length at the half-mile pole in :55. At that juncture, Dealt A Winner with Aaron Merriman at the controls and Always At My Place in rein to Ricky Macomber Jr., made their bids for the front, with Dealt A Winner passing Freaky Feet Pete to take second and locking the 4-year-old stallion in the pocket.
After three-quarters in 1:22.3, the six horse field entered the stretch with Always B Miki and Miller still reigning supreme. As they were set down for the final push to the wire, Freaky Feet Pete’s only option for victory was the passing lane, while it appeared Dealt A Winner and Always At My Place had far too much real estate to cover to draw even with the leader.
Tetrick and Freaky Feet Pete punched through the inside to give chase and despite a :25.4 final quarter panel on their part, it was simply not enough to relegate Always B Miki to their rearview mirror prior to the finish line.
Miller and Always B Miki crossed the finish line in 1:48.2. Like Freaky Feet Pete, Always B Miki came home in :25.4, yet it appeared the stallion could have went much more swiftly if Miller had truly asked for what remained in reserve.
After a valiant effort, Freaky Feet Pete was second with All Bets Off rushing from sixth to claim the show position over the fading Dealt A Winner.
Owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter, world and Indiana champion Always B Miki is conditioned by Christina’s husband Jimmy. The son of Always A Virgin-Artstopper paid a paltry $2.10 for a trip around the Anderson oval that truly demonstrated his hooves step in rarefied air, with the exacta paying $4.20 and the trifecta $18.00.
After the winner’s circle festivities were complete, Miller solemnly stated what over recent months is beginning to become very obvious.
“I have driven a lot of very good horses over the years,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, but this horse has to rank up there with the best of them and he may be the best.”