While all the attention regarding the Miracle Mile is centered on Auckland Reactor, Monkey King and Blacks A Fake, there is a horse that should be familiar to North American harness racing fans, Lonestar Legend. Make no mistake; Lonestar Legend is a long shot to win this race. But just the same, being an American bred horse is racing in the Miracle Mile, let's take a look at him.
So far, Lonestar Legend has not yet shown the ability he exhibited in the States. Through his 3 year old campaign, Lonestar took a lifetime record of 1:49.3 and won $398,258 with seven wins out of twenty four starts making his last North American start at the Red Mile in 2008. He was then exported to Australia.
Since arriving in Australia, Lonestar Legend has been acclimating to racing in Australia. Out of five starts last season, he won three races with a mile rate mark of 1:59.9 and earning $18,000 (AUS). This season, he has earned two firsts and one second out of four starts with a mile rate of 1:58.3 and $22,913 in earnings. Up to his last race, he has shown a preference for distance races as all his victories have come in races over 2000 meters (a mile is 1609 meters). That being said, he finished second, losing by a neck to Saucy Legend NZ in a FFA at Newcastle in his last start on November 14 in 1:53.8 so it would appear he is hitting his best stride. Hence, he received an invitation to race in the Miracle Mile.
That being said, things would have to go his way tomorrow to be a factor in the Miracle Mile. Blacks A Fake has been undefeated this season winning six out of six races and earning over $176,000 (AUS) in purse money racing consistently against top horses. Monkey King has won three out of five starts earning $701,000 (NZ) winning in 1:54.5 with his FFA victory at Addington. Auckland Reactor who has only had three starts this season with one win has earnings of $31,085 (NZ) with his winning mile rate of 1:53.7 for the distance of 1950 meters (he won thirteen of sixteen starts last season with earnings over $1.1 million). I expect with Auckland Reactor making his fourth start of the season, he should be able to give a better account of himself.
My prediction is Monkey King will take home the honors in the Miracle Mile, with Auckland Reactor and Blacks A Fake rounding out the top three. That being said, I will be rooting for an upset by Lonestar Legend.
UPDATE: The Miracle Mile is due to go off at 12:40AM EST Sunday morning. The race replay should be available a half hour later on http://www.harness.org.au/. A live call of the race may be heard at post time at http://www.sport927.com.au/.