The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

July 31, 2013

Millers make racing a family affair

By Bera Dunau Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — Tuesday saw the return of harness racing to the Otsego County Fair.

A staple of the fair for decades, Tuesday’s events consisted of 12 harness races and one under-saddle trot race.

Admission to the races was free, but those wanting a racing program were charged $1.

Before every race, spectators had the opportunity to put a piece of paper into the jar of the horse they thought would win. The jar of the winning horse would have a name drawn from it, and the winning person would receive $20.

“I thought it was a good crowd,” said John Leavitt, a fair inspector for the New York Sire Stakes, the organization that supervised the races at the Otsego County Fair.

Leavitt also had very good things to say about the track itself.

“The track is in pristine condition,” he said, saying that it was very well-maintained.

One of the winners of Tuesday’s races was Wes Miller, of Lewis Miller Stable in New Berlin, near Morris.

“It always feels good to win,” said Miller, when asked his thoughts on winning on his home track.

Miller, who has been racing and training horses as a full time job for about 30 years, beat his nephew, Mike Miller, in a photo finish.

“He wasn’t a happy camper.” Wes said.

The owner of of Lewis Miller Stable is Wes Miller’s father, Lewis Miller. Lewis is also the longtime president of the Otsego County Fair.

“All the drivers loved the track, everybody was happy,” Lewis said when asked his thoughts on the day’s races. “We had a lot of good races.”

“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be in it,” said Wes Miller, speaking of his father’s love of racing. “He’s the one that has the serious passion for it.”

Lewis Miller was one of the people responsible for first bringing harness racing to the Otsego County Fair.

In addition to Paradise Paintball, the horse Wes Miller won with, Lewis Miller entered two other horses in Tuesday’s races, which finished first and second in their respective races.