When Amneris goes postward as the probable heavy favorite in the John Miller Memorial at Rosecroft tonight, her main obstacle will be facing 10 other fillies crowded onto a half-mile oval.
Most races at Rosecroft are run with eight or nine horses. Sometimes, 10 will go in special series races. But an 11-horse field is a rarity and the Miller tonight might resemble a cavalry charge more than a horse race.
Amneris, who last year became the fastest 2-year-old filly pacer in harness racing, has two factors in her favor. First, she drew the five post and thus her driver, Jan Nordin, will not have to worry about the outside. Second, she has shown gate speed in the past that gets her out of an early traffic jam.
Rheo Filion, who will drive Alixandria Turner in the Miller, said "A lot of people will shoot out of there. They have to."
Bib Roberts, trainer of two fillies in the stakes, believes that "to beat her (Amneris) is a pretty tall order. On a half mile, her getting hung might possibly beat her."
Roberts' horses probably drew two of the worst posts in the race. Yankee Tribute, a recent winner at Rosecroft in 2:00 4/5, goes from the 10 post. Roberts will drive.
Jimmy Murray will drive Roberts' other entry, Yankee Powwow, from the 11 post. At Rosecroft, the 10 and 11 horses start from behind the 2 and 3 horses. The track is only wide enough for eight horses.
"It's going to mess up everyone in the race," Roberts said about the large field, adding "I have no control in the race."