Soren and Jan Nordin, better known as Team Nordin, have earned a reputation in the harness racing industry for working their horses hard.
That training technique probably was the main reason Team Nordin's Amneris won the John W. Miller Memorial at Rosecroft Saturday night.
In her first start of the season, Amneris was forced to cover the first half mile in a fast 57 seconds while racing on the outside. Last year's 2-year-old pacing filly of the year had just enough energy left to win the mile event in 1:59 1/5, equaling the fastest clocking this season by a 3-year-old filly on a half-mile track. Shimmer Hanover, who finished fourth in the Miller, paced a 1:59 1/5 mile at Rosecroft last week.
Earlier this week, Dr. Nick Oweida, coowner of Amneris, stated the horse was handed over to the Nordins because they believe in working their horses hard. "The way they trained her, I have to give them credit," he said.
Saturday night, Jan Nordin, driving Amneris from the No. 5 post, had to be content with letting fillies inside him go for the lead in the early going. "I tried to get some cover at the start," Nordin said. "I knew the fractions would be fast. This was a little too much."
For the first quarter-mile, Nordin kept Amneris on the outside behind Stormy Pursuit, who in turn was stalking pacesetter Liberty's Jewel. When Walter Case Jr. drove Stormy Pursuit into the lead just past the quarter pole, Nordin pushed his filly to try to get the lead on the rail.
Amneris responded. Still racing on the outside, she paced by Stormy Pursuit at the half-mile pole and gained the rail and lead shortly before the clubhouse turn.
Stormy Pursuit tried to recapture the lead going into the final turn but broke stride when she felt Case's whip in mid-turn. Amneris had a four-length lead in the stretch, but the badly tiring filly reached the finish line only one length ahead of the fast-closing Dear Dorothy.