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Dinner At The Met is out for another serving of success
Thursday, February 27, 2014 - by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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Ken Weingartner
Freehold, NJ --- He might have been late to the table, but Dinner At The Met is serving up wins this year for trainer Erv Miller.

Unraced at age 2, the 3-year-old gelding pacer has won three of four races this season. His only setback was a second-place finish to National Debt in last week’s opening round of the Buddy Gilmour Memorial Series at Meadowlands Racetrack.

Dinner At The Met is the 4-5 morning line favorite in Saturday’s second round of the series, formerly known as the Junior Trendsetter. He starts from post six in the nine-horse field, with Andy Miller handling the driving. National Debt, unbeaten in five lifetime races, was not entered.

USTA/Mark Hall photo
Erv Miller's Dinner At The Met is the 4-5 morning line favorite in Saturday’s second round of the Buddy Gilmour Memorial Series.

“He was a big, immature colt and he just took a while to come around,” said Miller, who bred and owns Dinner At The Met with Illinois’ Bert Hochsprung. “He was ready at the end of October, but we figured at that point it was better to give him some more time rather than press on.

“He was always handy, but he was just like a big, gangly kid. He just got better and better with more time. He’s still a little green; when he gets to the front he gets a little lost.”

Last week, Dinner At The Met paced the mile in 1:51.1, including a :26.4 last quarter, but lost by three lengths to National Debt. In his first career start, he paced the opening quarter in :26.3 before settling into a :59.4 middle half on his way to a 1-1/2 length victory in 1:55 in a conditioned race at the Meadowlands.

“He’s always done everything we’ve asked of him,” Miller said. “He’s a nice horse.”

Dinner At The Met is a homebred son of stallion Metropolitan out of the mare Grabbersome. Miller, who has finished among the top six trainers in North America for both wins and purses each of the last 10 years, and Hochsprung claimed Grabbersome toward the end of her 8-year-old season, raced her seven times (winning two) and then turned her into a broodmare.

Grabbersome, who won 31 starts and $175,621 in her career, produced five foals and all of them won races. Her top offspring to date was Harley Girl, who won twice on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit as a 2-year-old in 2009. All totaled, her foals have won 34 races and $237,320.

“She was a real consistent mare,” Miller said. “She always put her best foot forward, that’s why we bred her. She was a trier.”

Following the Gilmour Series, the plan is for Dinner At The Met to go to the Bobby Weiss Series at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. From there, it will be off to Indiana for sire stakes action.

“I think that will be a good spot for him out there,” Miller said.

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