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 9 and 10 with an approximate post time of 3:45 PM. 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 7 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 3 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  David Miller              Ron Burke
7. Huntsville               Tim Tetrick                Ray Schnittker
Adios Elimination 2, Race 10
1. Western Hill           Dave Palone            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  Matt Kakaley       Ron Burke
6. Eddard Hanover   Tim Tetrick             Ron Burke
7. Independent One  Marcus Miller             John Butenschoen
– by Evan Pattak