Harness Racing’s Best Descend Upon The Meadowlands For The Hambletonian

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The best horses from around the world will converge on the Meadowlands Racetrack this weekend with $1-million on the line for a race called the Hambletonian.

As CBS2’s Steve Overmyer reported, ‘Devious Man’ is one of the best in his sport. His job is to carry more than just a rider, he pulls a cart or a sulky — this is harness racing.

“The Hambletonian is the greatest race in the sport. It’s an open trot for 3-year-olds, the best in the world come here to compete,” Julie Miller said.

In harness racing the horses don’t run a full gallop, that’s why they’re called trotters.

“We’re walking to the track to exercise him. We jog four miles,” Julie explained.

The horses have to trot as fast as possible without breaking into a full sprint, but that’s not the only difference.

“I would say the thoroughbred is taller and leaner, and the standard bred is smaller, but huskier,” Julie said.

Julie Miller is one of the most respected trainers in the sport. Her horses have won more than 1,600 races and $32-million in purse money. The star driver of the stables is Andy, her husband.

“When people ask me how we can work together it comes down to respect,” Julie said. “I tell everyone how lucky I am to wake up to a job I love, and I get to do it with my family.”

He grew up Amish.

“Yeah, my whole life I’ve been driving horses,” he said.

Part of the family tradition is success. The world record for fastest filly in trotter history is from the Miller family.

“A mare went fifty and two at Lexington,” Andy explained.

Andy and Julie, along with daughter Olivia and son T.J. will have another shot at their biggest prize this weekend in the Hambletonian.

Their ultimate goal is to win as a family.

The Millers will race in the Hambletonian on Saturday, on CBS Sports Network with coverage starting at 4 p.m., Devious Man is the odds on favorite to win.

 

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