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Thinkbig Dreambig wins $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial
Sunday, August 12, 2018 - by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

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Northfield, OH --- Jordan Stratton traveled to Northfield Park on Saturday (August 11) full of confidence to drive Thinkbig Dreambig in the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial. He had been prepared by Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter, his mount’s conditioner, that the horse was ready for a big effort. Also, he had been to Northfield two other times this year and those trips resulted in a $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie win and a score in the $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic.

JJ Zamaiko photo
Thinkbig Dreambig takes advantage of a break by Lather Up to capture the Carl Milstein Memorial.

Thinkbig Deambig started from post three and inherited a pocket trip when race favorite Lather Up lost stride in the first turn. He followed race leader Jimmy Freight through fractions of :27.4, :55.3 and 1:22.3. Stratton pulled Thinkbig Dreambig in the final turn and bested his competition by a half-length in 1:50.

“We knew we had a good shot coming here,” Stratton said. “Jimmy (Takter) likes this horse a lot. He has had some bad trips and was due for a big effort.”

Northfield Park Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting Dave Bianconi said, “This was not the horse I wanted to invite, but he (Jimmy Takter) said, ‘Trust me, this is the horse you want.’”

Thinkbig Dreambig (Bettor’s Delight-Extreme Dream-Jate Lobell) is owned by the partnership of Brixton Medical Inc., John Fielding, Goran Anderberg and Goran Falk.

Saturday’s victory was the fifth score for Thinkbig Dreambig and represents only his 10th career race. The win pushes Thinkbig Dreambig’s earnings to $325,537.

Following in succession after Thinkbig Dreambig were Jimmy Freight, Minnie Vinnie, Slick Tony, Dorsoduro Hanover, Always A Prince, Springsteen and Lather Up.

Thinkbig Dreambig returned $17.00 to win.

The race was in honor of Carl Milstein, who owned and operated Northfield Park from 1984 until his death in 1999. It is the richest invitational event in harness racing for pacers.

In the race prior to the main event, Dancin' Yankee captured his third $50,000 Myron Charna President’s Pace. The Ohio-sired event by invitation began in 2016.

Dancin' Yankee left from the gate and led virtually every step of the way, repelling a stiff challenge from Major Nemesis in the third panel. \His fractions were :26.3, :55.1, 1:22.2 and 1:49.2. The clocking equaled Northfield’s track record set by All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) in 2017.

Ron Burke trains Dancin' Yankee for the partnership of Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Melissa Patterson. Chris Page was in the bike.

Earlier in the evening, Barn Girl and Aaron Merriman broke the world record for older trotting mares in the $19,000 Open Trot in 1:52.3. The previous 1:53 record was held in a tie by Barn Girl (Aaron Merriman) and Like Old Times (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.). The record also ties the all-age trotting record over the Flying Turns.

Barn Girl led the entire mile from post seven through fractions of :27, :55.2, 1:23.4 and 1:52.3. Renee Bercury owns Barn Girl for trainer William Bercury.

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