Meadowlands Pace winner Huntsville and North America Cup champion Fear The Dragon head a field of 14 into the 51st edition of the $450,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows.
Eliminations for the Adios, each carrying a $25,000 purse, are set for Saturday (July 22); they’ll go as races nine and 10 with an approximate post time of 3:45 p.m. The $400,000 Adios final the following Saturday afternoon anchors a blockbuster card that features six Grand Circuit stakes.
Huntsville (Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show) vaulted over $1.3 million in career earnings with his victory in last week’s Meadowlands Pace final. He’ll go from post seven in the first elim for Tim Tetrick and trainer Ray Schnittker, who owns with Ted Gewertz and Steven Arnold.
Fear The Dragon (Dragon Again-Armbro Cinnamon), who wasn’t eligible for the Meadowlands Pace, lifted his lifetime bankroll to $940,344 with his July 1 triumph in the $500,000 final of the Max Hempt. He drew post three in the second elim for David Miller, trainer Brian Brown and owner Emerald Highlands Farm.
Huntsville, Fear The Dragon and Downbytheseaside have been the superstars of the 3-year-old pacing division. Brown, who also trains Downbytheseaside, said he toyed with the idea of dropping Downbytheseaside into the Adios box but decided the colt needed a breather after contesting the North America Cup, the Hempt and the Meadowlands Pace.
“The plan was always to skip one of the races,” Brown said. “If we’d entered him in the Adios, he would have raced seven out of eight straight weeks. That didn’t make sense.”
He said Downbytheseaside would enjoy about a month off before returning in the Carl Milstein at Northfield Park.
The Meadows-based Ron Burke, North America’s perennial leading trainer, will have a strong presence in the Adios with six horses. Leading the Burke contingent is Miso Fast, who defeated Fear The Dragon in a Hempt elimination before finishing fourth in the final.
The fields for the Adios eliminations, in post position order with preliminary driving assignments and trainers:
Adios Elimination 1, Race 9
1. Boogie Shuffle-Scott Zeron-Mark Harder
2. RJP-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke
3. Highalator-Dave Palone-Jeffrey Long
4. Miso Fast-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke
5. Blood Line-Mark MacDonald-Jimmy Takter
6. Southwind Yukon-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke
7. Huntsville-Tim Tetrick-Ray Schnittker
Adios Elimination 2, Race 10
1. Western Hill-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna
2. Lawrencetown Beach-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke
3. Fear The Dragon-David Miller-Brian Brown
4. Hurricane Beach-Daniel Dube-Luc Blais
5. Filibuster Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke
6. Eddard Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke
7. Independent One-Matt Kakaley-John Butenschoen