by john manzi for the Billings Series
Two-time National Amateur Driver of the Year, “Hurricane Hannah” Miller, blew away her competition in the Billings Trot at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon (June 1)when she guided Hidden Identity to an oh-so-easy gate to wire victory over six others in a 2:00.2 clocking.
Unfazed by starting on the far outside from post seven, Miller hustled her charge to the front as the wings of the mobile starting gate folded and they had command even before the first turn.
“He’s a real nice horse to drive and I didn’t have to do much other than just give him his head and we were on top almost immediately” Hannah said.
After a :29.2 first stanza Hidden Identity seemed to be on cruise control as the 10 year old altered son of Angus Hall had the field lined-up behind him and none of the trailing horses were game enough to take a shot at the leader in a 1:00.3 first half.
As the field headed up the backside for the second time Billings president Tony “the Capo” Verruso had Sam’s Honeybee tight on Hannah’s back and they raced one-two by the third stanza in 1:30.4. But after that it was Katie bar the door as Hidden Identity began to open daylight on the field.
At the top of the lane Hannah had two lengths on the rest of the field which her trotter effortlessly opened to five at the wire in the 2:00.2 clocked mile.
“Even though he was so strong throughout the mile when we headed for home I still pulled the (ear) plugs but I really didn’t have to. We were easily home free” Ms. Miller said.
Sam’s Honeybee held on for second money while Wygant Prince, driven by “Coach Paul” Minore kept Woody and “Yankee Joe” Lee at bay for the show dough.
Hidden Identity is owned and trained by Tom Milici , Sent off as the odds-on favorite he paid $2.80 for win.