Beach Towel, the leading candidate for harness horse of the year, heads a 14-horse field of 3-year-old pacing colts entered yesterday for the Sept. 8 running of the $444,371 Messenger Stakes at Rosecroft Raceway. The Messenger is the second leg of pacing's Triple Crown.
Because of the large field, the Messenger will have two seven-horse elimination heats. The top four finishers in each heat will advance to the final.
Beach Towel, trained and driven by Ray Remmen, has won a number of major stakes this year, including the Meadowlands Pace, Adios, Miller Memorial and Terrapin. The latter two were held at Rosecroft.
Beach Towel drew the No. 4 post in his Messenger heat. The heat also includes Jake And Elwood, who was supplemented to the Messenger for $30,000. Last Saturday at Yonkers Raceway, Jake And Elwood won the Cane Pace, the first leg of the Triple Crown.
In The Pocket, the last horse to defeat Beach Towel, is in the second heat with Fighting Major, Big Date, Corsair, Kiev Hanover, No Caveats, Six Day War, Oscarsson, Spirited Style, Till We Meet Again, Armbro Intercept and CKS. Miller Gets His Money
Bill Miller, former general manager of Rosecroft, last week received a judgment against the track to obtain funds owed him by track owner Mark Vogel. Jim Murphy, current general manager of Rosecroft, said he believes Miller's court action was prompted by a misunderstanding.
The payment of the funds was part of an agreement between Miller and Vogel to compensate Miller for the years remaining on his contract at the time Vogel fired the general manager in January.
Bill Fury, Miller's attorney, said he obtained a "confessed judgment" that resulted in a $310,000 garnishment of an account due Rosecroft.
Fury said the delinquent funds due Miller have been paid by Rosecroft and that all payments are now current. The lawyer added that "the terms of the agreement between Miller and Rosecroft are confidential."
Murphy said yesterday the payment due Miller is delinquent, but that Miller had indicated he was willing to wait for it. Murphy also said the amount due is $100,000, not $310,000. "No one thought it was a problem," he said. "We thought we had an understanding to defer the payment for a couple of weeks."
Murphy said the payment had been due between Aug. 1 and Aug. 15, but that Vogel had wished to defer it until he obtained refinancing of his racetrack holdings. He hopes to obtain that refinancing in September.
Murphy said that once he knew of the judgment, payment to Miller was made immediately.