Daylon MiracleDaylon Miracle, the MSOA’s reigning Trotter of the Year, stalked 2014 national Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry from the pocket, then blew by the champ in the passing lane to pull off a 5-1 upset in Friday’s (April 24) inaugural edition of the $51,100 The Meadows Maturity for mare trotters.

In the first start of her 4-year-old campaign, Shake It Cerry led the field through a snappy 1:24.3 three-quarters but tired late and faded to fourth, beaten five lengths. Classic Martine, the 2014 Mare Trotter of the Year, was buried from post nine and never got involved, finishing sixth.

Daylon Miracle triumphed in 1:53.3, four lengths better than Cowgirl Hall, with the winner’s stablemate, Anaffairtoremember, third. That gave locally based horses a sweep and provided a bonanza for bettors who backed them to show. With Shake It Cerry off the ticket, the show payoffs for the top three were $9.40, $19.00 and $22.40, respectively.

Winning driver Aaron Merriman was sitting with a handful of live horse and knew it.  “Anywhere down the backside, I felt like I could have pulled at any time. She was that good,” Merriman said of the 6-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur-Daylon Marvel, who now has banked $474,907 in her career. “But I was following a great horse and a great driver. David made my decision (to stay in the pocket) for me. His horse didn’t look as sharp, and I thought he carried her a lot farther than she would have gone with somebody else.”

Former MSOA Director and longtime local trainer Bill Bercury, who owns and trains Daylon Miracle and Anaffairtoremember, called it the biggest win of his career. He had spoken of a 1-2 finish for his mares days before the race. It was a bold vision, and Bercury’s mares nearly pulled it off with their 1-3 result.

“We beat the two best mares in the country from last year,” he said. “I’m very excited about that. I had a lot of confidence in both my mares. They both have a lot of heart. They both really like racing, and that means so much. I love them.”

Story by Evan Pattak, photo courtesy of Chris Gooden Photos