Taking advantage of an excellent drive by Tommy Haughton, Cash Asset won the $213,914 William E. Miller Memorial mile pace at Rosecroft last night in 1:55 3/5.
The winning time was a track record for 3-year-old pacing colts and a Miller Memorial stakes record. The previous mark of 1:57 was set by Miller winners Rabbit Road (1982) and Penetrate (1985). The time was also a lifetime mark for Cash Asset.
Haughton's only problem came at the start when he had to get Cash Asset, who drew the outside six post, to the lead early.
Haughton moved his colt out at the start but found himself parked outside with Image In Motion, driven by his father, Billy Haughton, in front and a string of horses on the rail blocking his way.
Tommy Haughton then got lucky as a hole opened up in front of second betting choice Freight Saver just past the quarter-mile. Haughton quickly moved Cash Asset to the rail in fourth while Image In Motion took the lead. After a half-mile, Haughton guided Cash Asset around Image In Motion to the rail.
The second time around shaped up as a battle between the three race favorites.
Bob Boni-owned Cash Asset and Smartest Remark, driven by Donald Irvine Jr., raced as an entry and went off as the 4-to-5 favorites. Freight Saver, driven by Ben Webster, got strong support from the crowd of 7,029 and was made the 11-to-10 second choice.
With Cash Asset on the rail, Smartest Remark tipped to the outside and made a strong move for the lead while Webster kept Freight Saver along the rail hoping for a late opening.
Under pressure from Smartest Remark, Cash Asset went the three-quarters in 1:26 4/5.
Cash Asset, however, had plenty in reserve for the stretch and went on to win by a half-length over Freight Saver who found a hole along the rail to finish second. Smartest Remark was a nose behind for third. Image In Motion faded to fourth.
The top four finishers were all sired by Niatross.
The victory was Cash Asset's sixth in a row. The first-place money of $106,957 increased the colt's career earnings to $272,300.