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Muscle Mass sets world record in Review Stake
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - by Timothy M. Jones, USTA Web Newsroom Correspondent

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Springfield, IL --- Muscle Mass, a 2-year-old Muscles Yankee colt, is the newest world champion from the Ervin Miller Stable.

In the $56,000 Review Stakes on Tuesday (August 14) at the Illinois State Fair, the youngster eclipsed Chocolatier’s 1:54.4 mark by a full second. He also shattered the stakes mark of 1:56.1 held by Chocolatier (2005) and Great Success (2006).

Brent Holland urges Muscle Mass to the wire in his world record victory.
Brent Holland floated Muscle Mass from post eight, in the field of eight, heading into the first turn. Unable to find a spot on the rail, the colt gradually made his way toward the front end through a first quarter of :27.3.

Big Boy Lloyd (Mike Oosting) had opened up three lengths on the field turning up the backstretch, allowing Muscle Mass to finally drop to the rail. Those two continued in that order to the half reached in :55.2. Passing three-quarters in 1:24.4, Holland pulled Muscle Mass from the rail, taking dead aim on the leader.

At the top of the stretch, Muscle Mass had a one length jump on Big Boy Lloyd as the latter suddenly veered into the concrete retaining wall. In mid-stretch, Muscle Mass was two lengths in front of a quickly closing Pine After Pine (Andy Miller). At the wire, the big colt was three parts of a length ahead of Pine After Pine, stopping the timer in 1:53.4. Over Ruled (Dave Magee) rallied for third.

“I just kept moving him forward off the gate,” explained Holland. “I would have rather found a spot further back early. He felt really strong turning for home.”

Owned by the Perretti Racing Stable LLC and Black Horse Racing, Muscle Mass is a world champion in only his second start.

“That’s the kind of horse I thought he was,” said trainer Ervin Miller. “I never thought they’d go anywhere close to that today but in the long run, I thought that was the type of horse he was going to be. Hopefully we can keep him together to win like this over and over.

“We’ll probably take him to Du Quoin, then we’ll make a decision from there whether we go to Canada or the American-National. We won’t over race him this year -- try to save him for next year.”

Day four of racing at the Illinois State Fair, and the track isn’t getting any slower. In addition to the impressive effort of Muscle Mass, Andy Miller guided State Of The Art to a new stakes record.

State Of The Art was a 1:50 winner for Andy Miller in the Review Stakes 3-year-old filly pace.
State Of The Art third raced third through an opening quarter of :27.1 in the $35,000 Review Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Miller then tugged on the right line and off the rail went the Artsplace miss in a first-over bid up the backstretch, brushing to the half in a very brisk :54.2. Reaching three-quarters in 1:22.3, a :27.3 final panel resulted in a 1:50 win and new stakes record.

Owned by Brittany Farms and trained by Ervin Miller, she is once defeated in six lifetime starts. This impressive effort erased nearly five seconds from her lifetime mark.

“Erv’s been taking it real easy with this filly,” said her winning reinsman. “He thought she would be pretty good today. The trip worked out well. They were mixing it up early on the front end. I went to the front on the backside and then eased her around the last turn. When I asked her in the lane, she responded; took right off.”

The orange clad Miller also time trialed Life Guard On Duty to a new world record of 1:58.3 for a horse hitched to a high wheeled sulky. Although this record was set by a pacer, Delvin Miller owns the record for a trotter behind the same late 1800s era bike, when he time trialed in 2:04 at the Meadowlands on Hambletonian Day in 1988.

Five 3-year-old pacing colts went postward in the seventh race, the $37,000 Review Stakes (the Baker).


 Timothy M. Jones photos

Life Guard On Duty and Andy Miller time trialed in 1:58.3 in a high wheeled sulky.
As the field headed into the first turn, Johnny Charisma raced fifth on the rail as Placeitonluckydan, part of a three-horse entry by trainer Ken Rucker, led to the :26.2 quarter.

Sam Widger was first to challenge the leader with Booze Cruzin, but as Widger cleared with his mount on the lead, Tim Tetrick charged first up with Exterminator. As Widger dropped to the rail nearing the :53 half, Exterminator shot by to take the lead although parked, with Johnny Charisma’s nose on Tetrick’s helmet. Booze Cruzin then decided to fight back on the inside and those two raced head-to-head, back-and-forth to the 1:21 three-quarter station.

Reaching that mark, Oosting sent Johnny Charisma three-wide, motoring by those two off the final turn. At the wire in 1:49.3, Johnny Charisma was 1-1/2 lengths better than Booze Cruzin, and another two lengths ahead of Richess King (Andy Miller).

“I think everybody wanted to leave today,” said Oosting. “The wind is in your face coming down the stretch. It’s hard to pass; I don’t care how tired or how fresh you are. I guess I got drug up close enough. It was only a five-horse field, but you still have to be close; those were some good horses.”

The winner is an Artiscape gelding owned by the Engel Stable, Rucker Stable, Panhellenic Stable, and Sheffield Stable. He’s now won four of five starts and shaved 2-2/5 seconds from his lifetime mark.

Dave Magee’s first date with Share The Promise resulted in a trip to the winner's circle in the $40,000 Review Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters.

Share The Promise led seven other fillies to the :29.2 quarter before giving way to Along The Way (Michel Lachance) heading up the backstretch. Following the latter’s cover to three-quarters, Magee then pulled his filly off the rail and passed Along The Way with a little over an eighth left in the mile. At the wire she was three lengths better than Along The Way in 1:56.3. Creamy Mimi finished third.

The royally bred Yankee Glide filly, from the Armbro Goal mare Winky’s Goal, is undefeated in two starts. Owned by Vandalay Racing, she is trained by Hall of Famer Ron Gurfein.

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