The 31st William E. Miller Memorial Pace at Rosecroft tonight will feature two divisions with a record total purse of $230,000. Last year the Miller was worth $130,000.
The nine-horse 11th race appears to be the more competitive of the Miller divisions.
Witsends Wizard, trained and driven by Canadian Ron Waples, should be the favorite in that division.
As a 2-year-old, Witsends Wizard had a tough campaign. He raced against the best colts in the country and still earned $463,860 with five victories. His top mark of 1:54 2/5 is the best among the 17 Miller entrants.
The Miller will be Witsends Wizard's second start this season. But Waples said after a training session Wednesday at Rosecroft the horse is sharp and ready to go.
His main competition is expected to come from Stargell Lobell and Meadow Ro Mar.
Stargell Lobell, trained by Leroy Copeland and driven by his son, Vince, has made 11 starts this year. A front-runner who drew the inside 2 post, Stargell Lobell probably will try to control the pace.
Meadow Ro Mar was the favorite in the North American Pace at Rosecroft last Saturday and was making a strong move in the back stretch when an accidental break knocked him out of the race.
In the first division, the eighth race, it should be all Flight Of Fire if the colt can overcome two obstacles.
The Niatross colt has not made a start since March 21, being rested because he raced rough earlier this season, according to trainer Joseph Caraluzzi.
But Caraluzzi said Flight Of Fire "seems pretty sharp" after training at Freehold Raceway in New Jersey, the colt's first time on a half-mile oval.
Flight Of Fire's other problem is that he will be starting from the No. 8 post. Starters from Rosecroft's No. 8 post have won 28 races this year compared to 201 wins for post position 1.
Mickey McNichols will drive Flight Of Fire.