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Author Topic: Erv Miller Relocating  (Read 3475 times)
Dr.Trotter
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« on: December 07, 2005, 01:48:34 PM »

Erv Miller Relocating?
Tuesday, December 7, 2005 - by Timothy M. Jones
 
With the conclusion of the major sales in the harness racing industry, the Erv Miller Stable, like so many others, has moved some old faces and made room for some new ones.

 

The 2005 yearlings purchased by Miller are divided into 60 percent open-breds and 40 percent that are Illinois conceived and foaled (ICF).  Those percentages  contrast with purchases made in previous years when Miller dealt primarily in Illinois-sired horses.

 

Miller spent approximately $900,000.00 for yearlings at Harrisburg in 2005. 

 

“I worked hard to get some nice horses,” stated the Amish-raised trainer. 

 

Two of the colts purchased at Harrisburg, Modern Desire (Real Desire – Wendy M Hanover) and Western Threads (Western Hanover – Threads Of Life) had price tags of $255,000.00 and $110,000.00 respectively.   

   
 Tim Jones Photo
 
'Abe', Loyal Opposition and Erv Miller at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

Miller purchased three youngsters at Lexington with price tags of $225,000, $170,000, and $140,000.

 

Miller also parted with some quality racing stock.  That list includes ICF standouts Perdition, Fox Valley Shaker, and Grant’s Charger.  If you notice a pattern here, it’s obvious that Miller is making a transition.

 

“I am concentrating on two and three-year-old stakes horses,” he said. 

 

The new direction the stable is taking will deal in more open-bred horses than ICF horses, a 180-degree reversal from years past.  Miller’s reasoning behind the change is that programs in states like New York and  Delaware (and also Ontario) have received boosts from slots-generated dollars. 

 

Miller also reasons, “I’m buying more open-breds because the local market isn’t good.  The Kentucky stake program, also, was just added to for their two-year-old program.  I don’t mind having Kentucky-bred horses because of that.”

 

“Illinois was a great state to be in until we lost the Million Dollar Bonus,” he notes.  (Illinois Conceived and Foaled horses who won three of four designated races at Springfield, Du Quoin, and Chicago were rewarded with either a share of $1 million, or the total amount, if that freshman was the only horse of four divisions who won three of those required races.)

 

 “Since we lost that, we’ve kind of been on the down side,” he lamented.

 

Miller is not a stranger to frequent flyer miles.  He races horses from Illinois to New Jersey, and also successfully ventures north of the border to tracks in Canada.  He has been able to witness first-hand the methods of different tracks and programs in how they support and promote harness racing.  Quite a few of those venues are supported by gaming legislation. That means slots.

 

Miller refers to gaming slots as a Band-Aid to temporarily fund racing.  He doesn’t consider it a cancer, nor a cure-all.  He does admit it would be a boost to the Illinois program.  He is also somewhat wary of how the proposed slot money would get to horsemen, but as long as it is used as legislated and intended for horse racing in Illinois, it could be a start to build the program up again.

 

Miller would also like to see some of those funds, and generated by whatever means, used to attract people back to harness racing. 

 

 
Tim Jones Photo 
 
“We need to figure what makes horse racing attractive to the public today, like it was years ago,” he says.  “Today, there are so many other forms of entertainment; we have to figure out a way to make horse racing the entertainment.  Something like NASCAR.  Make it a big event, so it’s not just horse racing.  You have your nightly racing or whatever, but once a month, make it a big race or something, like Super Night.  Make it so people want to go see it.  Make the quality of the horses so people want to attend.”

 

Miller also sees a need to cut down on racing in Illinois, rather than continue with what he calls a saturation of the market in Chicago.  He would like to see a schedule similar to New Jersey or Delaware, where tracks take two or three months off.

 

“Instead of racing year-around for the same amount we race for, go just two-thirds of the year,” he suggests. “That’s something that might help, at least so our market wouldn’t be so saturated.”

 

Where does that leave the Ervin Miller Stable, and what does he foresee for the stable’s future?  In the summer of 2005, Miller either had a stable in New Jersey or Canada, all the while maintaining his base of operations in Springfield, Illinois.  Next year will be the same or even more so. 

 

“I’ll probably have a stable one in New Jersey and Canada from about May on next year,” he says. “That’s just because of the limited opportunity to race here (Illinois) for quality horses.”

 

Ed and Kelly Prinz were Miller’s assistants who commuted from New Jersey to Canada last year with horses like Classic Photo and Loyal Opposition.  Miller is leaning towards naming Tony Alagna as the man who will set up operations for him in Canada next year, while Prinz will remain in New Jersey.

 

Miller is also considering a move from his current base of operations at the Illinois State Fairgrounds to another locale.

 

 “Sooner or later, after my kids get through school, I’ll be forced to move somewhere else,” he says.  “I’ll have to go somewhere where the industry is a lot stronger.  I’m a proponent of the idea that in this sport, the harder you work at it, the more you try, the better you can be.

 

“The better horses, horses like Loyal Opposition---they make the sport.  You can’t promote mediocrity.  You don’t want mediocrity.  You want to have the good, good horses.  They’re the ones that people follow.  They’re the ones that make the sport.  Like NASCAR.  The top drivers are who everybody will follow.  That’s what makes it go,” he concluded.”
 
http://www.ustrotting.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=13103&z=1
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medic_61353
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2005, 03:02:55 PM »

Another case of the " Rats jumping off the burning, sinking ship".
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County Fair Racing
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2005, 03:25:34 PM »

This is a quote from the article “Sooner or later, after my kids get through school, I’ll be forced to move somewhere else,” he says.  He will not be leaving the State Fairgrounds for a few more years.
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Tannor
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2005, 03:27:29 PM »

Actually quite a few. His daughter is only 11 or 12 i believe.

Tannor
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They're at the gate!!!!
icare
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2005, 04:09:45 PM »

can you blame him, the moneys not here, 
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Dr.Trotter
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2005, 04:48:46 PM »

I think he's just putting the fact that he's leaving out on the table as a way of trying to get something done.  If he leaves the whole Illinois program goes to hell !
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Heede
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2005, 04:49:44 PM »

SOONER THAN LATER. Shocked Shocked Shocked
Has a nice house in FL.
I would guess PA. if he makes a move. Grin Grin
Illinois can kiss all the talent GOODBY Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss
I see Harmer moving also, I think he is going to So. FL. again this winter.
I know one thing it will be a ton of 4 claimers very soon going for $1,500.

Heede

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trotter1
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2005, 05:06:42 PM »

Erv hit it on the head with the Million Dollar Bonus.  Illinois was very foolish to
eliminate it.  The average price of all yearlings sold the last few years at the major
Illinois sales--Walker Standardbreds and Cottonwood has declined 35%.

Very foolish for (one) $50,000 annual state obligation for 20 years. Certainly not
the only reason this has happened but let me tell you--as a purchaser of yearlings at the
sales over the years, the possibility of hitting the $1,000,000 annuity was a
HUGE motivator in jumping in and buying.  Let's face it--purchasing a yearling is
probably the highest risk investment in horseracing but at least we were able to
rationalize/explain it to our wives that we could possibly hit the $1 million with the next
2 year old.

Well, at least LEAHY hit it a few times in the past--I'm sure has been using it for his legal
defense fund.

It sure would be a big deal to bring it back--even if the State didn't do it.
Wouldn't it be worth it in the long run for Balmoral/Maywood/Hawthorne/Cottonwood Farm/Walker Farm to each put up $10,000 each year for 20 years?
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trotter
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2005, 05:30:43 PM »

It would be a great idea if the farms and the tracks put up the money...but your talking about the biggest bunch of cry babies in the history of harness racing. 
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cumonwire
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2005, 05:50:55 PM »

I understand Business.  Economics rule!  You might as well live where you work.
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Sly Rossi
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2005, 01:08:49 AM »

As you state we have lost the million dollar bonus
we have lost the state paying for the recapture
we have lost good racing dates for Hawthorne
we are loosing many stables and horses that are going elsewhere to race
and we are about to loose that good free coffee OUCH
But the good news is that the Rosemont casino money has kept us afloat do you remember that asinine statement made back in 2000
Well all in all the future doesn't look very bright for Illinois racing
Our bags are packed for greener pastures
Thanks
Sly
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swoodall
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2005, 02:36:21 AM »

trotter1

Having the farms and tracks put up the money will work only if they put up enough money to pay a lump sum for the bonus payment.  Thats how nearly everyone who won the bonus took their payment.  If they could swing that amount then I could see it working.  Problem is the farms are barely surviving and do not have that kind of cash and you couldn't pry that kind of money from Johnny's cold dead hands let alone get him to volunteer it.
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Dr.Trotter
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2005, 11:28:41 AM »

I'm glad I posted the link to this article when I did.  Valley Vic said in the usta website thread that Langley had it pulled off almost as soon as it was put on there.  Sure enough I looked for it in the archives and there's no link to the article.  What a bunch of dirty crooks.  Langley appears to be censoring the press, thats great!!!  What ever happened to free speech!  I wonder why he'd want to censor it, maybe because it appears:  the Johnstons are paying off the IRB to lock Hawthorne out of the harness market, or is it that all of the top horsemen are packing up shop, or is it that Balmoral and Maywood let the cheaters go until they cross the Gestapo,

Engel becomes president of IHHA ----> Rucker gets 6 months for a drug that the NJRC won't even suspend people for.
Tony Morgan is president of IHHA ----> He supposedly leaves on his own account for Dover
Erv says Illinois racing sucks ------> We'll see what happens

There is absolutely no way to save racing with these fu***** a** holes in control.  IMO the only way to save racing is getting slots and make race track licenses available.  Look at them fight over who gets the last license in pennsylvania and Pocono is getting a $44 million dollar renovation!!!!  Bring in slots and bring in some new blood and it will cure Illinois.  The tracks will be forced to compete purse wise or people will race elsewhere.  You of course would have to clean out the IRB and start over with all new members as well.  Open for debate.
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potrasalve
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2005, 11:57:33 AM »

Overhaul is the keyword !! Start anew these guys running the show are aging dinosaurs who wont let go. There more worried about themselves being right than what's right for the whole industry. If they can go after the ex gov. Ryan they certainly can go after these bozo's and find out something is a misss. Or else they can hang on for another decade. They should retire and go run there hometown county fair already.
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Dan Nance
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2005, 12:31:05 PM »

If it's going to take a few years before he relocates. Then tell him to relocate to Vegas Downs once John gets off his ass and starts the ball rolling.
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njhorseman
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« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2005, 01:02:39 PM »

I'm glad I posted the link to this article when I did.  Valley Vic said in the usta website thread that Langley had it pulled off almost as soon as it was put on there.  Sure enough I looked for it in the archives and there's no link to the article.  What a bunch of dirty crooks.  Langley appears to be censoring the press, thats great!!!  What ever happened to free speech!  I wonder why he'd want to censor it, maybe because it appears:  the Johnstons are paying off the IRB to lock Hawthorne out of the harness market, or is it that all of the top horsemen are packing up shop, or is it that Balmoral and Maywood let the cheaters go until they cross the Gestapo,

Engel becomes president of IHHA ----> Rucker gets 6 months for a drug that the NJRC won't even suspend people for.
Tony Morgan is president of IHHA ----> He supposedly leaves on his own account for Dover
Erv says Illinois racing sucks ------> We'll see what happens

There is absolutely no way to save racing with these fu***** a** holes in control.  IMO the only way to save racing is getting slots and make race track licenses available.  Look at them fight over who gets the last license in pennsylvania and Pocono is getting a $44 million dollar renovation!!!!  Bring in slots and bring in some new blood and it will cure Illinois.  The tracks will be forced to compete purse wise or people will race elsewhere.  You of course would have to clean out the IRB and start over with all new members as well.  Open for debate.

There's no direct link, but the article is in their archives.

Go the USTA Web Newsroom, and do a search for "Erv Miller". A link to the article comes right up.

You guys should get a life and stop blaming everything that you don't like on Langley, Narotsky, the Johnstons and Tony Morgan. Just blame them for what they're actually responsible for.  Grin
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medic_61353
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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2005, 01:57:41 PM »

On 12-7-05 is was a featured article with a picture of Erv and Abe Lincoln and Loyal Opposition.
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njhorseman
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« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2005, 02:01:23 PM »

On 12-7-05 is was a featured article with a picture of Erv and Abe Lincoln and Loyal Opposition.

And your point is? Huh
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burton
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« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2005, 02:08:50 PM »

There's no direct link, but the article is in their archives.

Go the USTA Web Newsroom, and do a search for "Erv Miller". A link to the article comes right up.

You guys should get a life and stop blaming everything that you don't like on Langley, Narotsky, the Johnstons and Tony Morgan. Just blame them for what they're actually responsible for.  Grin

So much for today's conspiracy.
Thanks NJ.
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medic_61353
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« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2005, 02:11:39 PM »

Well, I would think if it was a featured article one day, it should be moved to the USTA newsroom page or past headlines, easy accessibility.
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njhorseman
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« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2005, 02:14:14 PM »

Well, I would think if it was a featured article one day, it should be moved to the USTA newsroom page or past headlines, easy accessibility.

A lot of the homepage features are not. I'll bet that Bill Blessing's feature posted there today won't be moved to the newsroom headlines page tomorrow.
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off stride
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« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2005, 02:26:07 PM »

who cares where irv miller goes...there will always be somebody to take his place...nathan fatland cant wait to be the number 1 trainer in illinois
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mot tdnew
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« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2005, 02:33:27 PM »

I can't wait until Dan *** gets his training license back and uses every trick in the book and every drug in the book to make everyone around him look like fools. GO DAN GO!
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