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Saturday, December 17, 2016

City Hall rises for fourth straight, Miller wins eight

East Rutherford, N.J. – City Hall ($5.80) used another powerful stretch kick to crush his eight foes in Friday (December 16) evening’s co-featured $18,000 top-level pacing event at The Meadowlands, winning his fourth consecutive race and giving driver Brett Miller one of eight wins on the 13-race card.

Miller floated into midfield with the 6-year-old Metropolitan gelding, settling well behind Matrix of Luck (Joe Bongiorno) and Bullet Bob (Corey Callahan), who alternated on the lead through early fractions of :27.2 and :56. With just over half the mile remaining, City Hall latched onto live second-over cover from Screaman Seaman A (Marcus Miller) and worked into contention on the far turn before pushing three-wide off the corner and vaulting clear at once. Ultimately City Hall would use a :26 final kick to put 4-3/4 lengths on the field for a 1:50.1 score. Bullet Bob held second despite heavy pressure through the far turn, while El Bloombito (John Campbell) saved third out of traffic.

Amber Buter trains City Hall for Gene Oldford Farms, LLC and Tyler Buter.

Miller’s eight driving wins on the card gives him a share of the all-time record for wins on a single card at The Meadowlands, equaling Hall of Fame driver Michel Lachance’s eight-win performance in 1995.

Rubber Duck the one in trotting feature

In the co-featured $18,000 top-level conditioned trot, Toronto invader Rubber Duck ($4.80) made his Big M debut a winning one, continuing his ascent after losing cover on the far turn before drawing clear to a 3-1/2 length win over I C Caviar (Brett Miller) and Buddy Hally (Corey Callahan) in a rapid 1:52.3 effort. Joe Bongiorno drove the 4-year-old Muscle Mass entire for owners Blair and Erna Corbeil and new trainer Richard Johnson.

Total handle for the 13-race program was $2,466,612.

Live racing returns to The Meadowlands on Thursday (December 22) evening, with a $25,874.24 carryover buoying the Pick 5 sequence which spans the first five races of the program. First post is 7:15 p.m. Eastern.