Ohio-sired Charlie May crossed the wire an impressive winner in Saturday’s $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial, a Grand Circuit event against some of the best sophomore pacers in North America, at MGM Northfield Park. He and driver Brett Miller went to the gate off the heels of being disqualified after winning the $700,000 Meadowlands Pace just four weeks prior.
Charlie May started from post seven and sat fifth through the opening :26 quarter.
“We got a little bit lucky in the first turn to find a seat,” explained Miller.
Charlie May was in the flow, third over, but still in fifth position at the :53.2 half-mile mark. Miller called upon Charlie May in the third quarter, tipping three-wide and accelerating at an amazing speed, arriving in the lead at the three-quarter pole in 1:20.4. He continued to pull away from the others, winning by 4-3/4 lengths in 1:48.4. The clocking was a track and world record for sophomore gelded pacers.
“Once he (Charlie May) made the front he kind of let up,” explained Miller. “He would have gone faster if he had someone to pass.”
Charlie May (McArdle-Stipple Hanover-Western Hanover) is owned by Don Tiger of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Steve Carter trains him at his farm track in Londonderry, Ohio.
“It is very sweet to win this race here in Ohio,” stated Carter. “This horse shows up every week and always does his work.”
Saturday’s victory is the 12th score for Charlie May. The win pushes his earnings to $728,477.
Following in succession after Charlie May were Mysweetboymax, Water Sports Teen, Rockin On Venus, Bettor Sun, Chase H Hanover, Heart Of Chewbacca, Bayfield Beach and Alilthundadownunda.
Charlie May returned $4.60 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.
The impressive clocking was the third world record scored on the night. The two races prior to the main event, Weslynn Quest and Ocean Rock captured the $100,000 Tom Aldrich President’s Trot and $100,000 Myron Charna President’s Pace. The races are for veteran Ohio-sired horses, by invitation only.
Weslynn Quest won the Aldrich by leading gate-to-wire from the rail, winning by ¾-length in 1:50.4. The speedy clocking is the fastest mile in history trotted on a half-mile track. Joe Bongiorno drove the five-year-old mare for trainer Per Englom.
Ocean Rock, winner of the Charna, set his second world record on the Flying Turns. Saturday’s 1:48.1 clocking is the fastest mile ever paced by a four-year old gelding on a half-mile track. In 2019 he set a world record for freshman gelded pacers at Northfield in 1:51.1. Dan Noble drove the pacer for his wife Christi Noble, the horse’s trainer.