Hannah Miller Takes Billings Trot

Published: August 31, 2019 06:50 pm EDT

“Hurricane Hannah” Miller is back where she belongs; at the head of the class.

The talented miss and two-time National Amateur Driver of the Year (2015 & 2016) notched her 101st driving victory when she guided Fiji to a 2:00.3 come-from-behind win in a $9,000 Eastern Region Billings Trot on Saturday, Aug. 31 at Freehold Raceway.

Subbing for usual driver, and owner, Dave “the Rave” Offenberg, Ms. Miller fit her mount like a glove and got him to respond to victory, the horse's third of the season.

“We left swiftly from the six hole and settled-in third along the pylons,” she said. “When I moved him first-up at the half he marched forward toward the leader—Joe Faraldo with Tough Get Going—and slowly Fiji began closing the gap."

On the final turn Fiji was just a short length behind Faraldo's trotter.

“We didn't collar Tough Get Going until we straightened for home but when we did Fiji was strong and in the lane and we went on to a length victory," Hannah said. "He was a real pleasure to drive"

Broadway Bruiser finished third for “Mighty Matt” Zuccarello.

Trained by Eric Abbatiello, Fiji paid $13.00 for win.

During the 2015 season Hannah won 32 races and the following year she also won 32 races. She had 22 winners in 2017, the last year she participated regularly in amateur racing.

Now primarily a sales person for equine medications, her chances to jump up behind a spirited steed are limited. But when time permits Hannah gets back to what she loves— driving harness horses.

After purchasing Frost Free Hanover in late May, owner “Lawbook” Larry Farley had entrusted the driving duties to various catch-drivers, but on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 31) the retired attorney and talented amateur driver jumped up behind his charge and guided him to a 2:02.1 win in a Midwest region Billings trot at the Fulton County Fair.

Sent as second choice from the pole position in the five-horse field Farley sent his trotter to the front and played hard ball with I'll Tell You What and driver Richard “the Wolverine” Roach parking them the entire mile through fractions of :29.3, :59.1 and 1:30 2 before the challenger began to fade.

Up the backside Steve “You're Never too” Oldford and Stirling Boudica became the main threat but they couldn't overtake the leader as Frost Free Hanover hung tough all the way to the wire. Oldsford's trotter finished one-and-a-quarter lengths behind the winner. Walltocousins and driver Gregg “Fast Greggy” Keidel finished third, some seven-and-a-quarter lengths behind Frost Free Hanover..

Owned by Farley and trained by Terry Deters, Frost Free Hanover won for the fourth time this season and returned an $8.80 mutuel.

(Billings Series)