Honorable Winner and Trusty Tough Guy won $56,250 divison of the 26th William E. Miller Memorial Pace last night at Rosecroft Raceway, but it was a 4-year-old mare who stole the show.
Funnyman's Lashout, a daughter of Nasemond, led wire to wire in 1:58 2/5 to win the eight race against a field that normally would represent Rosecroft's feature race. Vic White drove.
The time was not only a Rosecroft best this year, just a fifth of a second off the track mark, but was the fastest time this year in the nation for a pacing mare on a half-mile track.
Against a field even more talented, Honorable Winner came on in the final quarter to win the second division of the Miller in 1:58 3/5 and with the faster time -- Trusty Tough Guy was clocked in 1:59 1/5 -- earned the Miller trophy.
Honorable Winner, the 6-to-5 favorite, although making only its seventh pari-mutual start, all as a 3-year-old, won by a half-length over the highly touted Tyler B., the seventh-leading money earner among 2-year-olds a year ago. Nanseroad was third.
Honorable Winner, who now has won five races for earnings for $50,265, was third by a neck as the seventh-pacer field reached the three-quarter mark in 1:28. Dear Star, driven by Glen Garnsey, led at that point, having taken the lead at the half in :57 4-5.
This was the fourth sub-two minute victory for the 3-year-old chestnut horse owned by John R. Colvin of Dayton, Tenn., and driven by Lloyd Gilmour.
In the earlier division, Trusty Tough Guy, who had not broken two minutes in two years, won by two lengths over Sans Strike.
The son of Trusty Dream, trained and driven by Thomas Edler, went off at 12 to 1 and paced much of the mile fourth as favorites Barman Lobell and Sans Strike battled for the lead with longshot Sly Beau.
In collecting his first victory in four starts this year, Trusty Tough Guy raised his career earnings to $87,391. His previous best time was 2:00 over the three-quarter mile track at Vernon Downs in New York.
"I've been pointing him towards this race and next week when he's entered in a $100,000 sires race at Roosevelt," said Edler, 29, making his first drive at Rosecroft.
"He was very sick as a yearling and that's how he got his name. I knew he could go pretty good so I just let the others fight it out."