New owners look to cash in with Uncle Peters Love in OSS final

Northfield, OH — Gambling at racetracks isn’t restricted to the dreamers in the grandstand and clubhouse. There is also the backstretch bunch, owners and trainers that risk tens of thousands of dollars on the pedigrees and promise of the horses that occupy their barns.

An intriguing example of how packets of money fly through the air will be on display Sunday (Sept. 1) when the richest night in the history of northeast Ohio racing goes postward at Northfield Park. An eye-popping $2,485,300 in purses will be rewarded with most of it being distributed in eight $300,000 Ohio Sires Stakes championship races.

Of particular interest is the 2-year-old filly trot, because the mile dash will test the judgement of Erv Miller, one of the top horsemen in North America, and the partnership of Buckeye owners Carl Howard of Powell and Joyce Ann McClelland of Zanesville.

Uncle Peters Love has won three of six starts and $65,144 in purses and could nearly triple her bankroll by winning the OSS freshman trot and collecting $150,000. Conrad photo.

Until Tuesday, Uncle Peters Love, an entrant in the aforementioned juvenile filly trot, raced for Miller. Five days and one hammer drop later, she’ll strut her stuff for Howard and McClelland.

That’s because Miller, despite the fact that Uncle Peters Love had won three of six starts and $65,144 in purses and could nearly triple her bankroll by winning the OSS freshman trot and collecting $150,000, sold the moderate bay filly at the Blooded Horse Sale in Springfield, Ohio. Howard and McClelland made the winning bid at $95,000.

Why sell so close to the big race? Miller told sales company representatives that he was “only selling because we do not race in Ohio.”

Miller does race in Ohio, at least he did part-time. Uncle Peters Love, to become eligible for Sunday’s rich race, won twice at Scioto Downs and once at Northfield. The three triumphs make her the top point earner in the Ohio Sires Stakes 2-year-old filly trot division. She drew the No. 4 post position and is a 7-2 morning line co-second betting choice in the seventh race on the 16-race program.

Virgil Morgan Jr., one of Ohio’s leading horsemen, is now training Uncle Peters Love for her new owners.

“She’s a big, good-looking filly,” he told “We didn’t buy her for just one start. Obviously, this is a bonus.”

As for Miller, he may have felt that $95,000 in his pocket is a safer bet than racing for a $150,000 winner’s check with no guarantees.

Horses to watch in other Ohio Sires finales include Queen Of The Pride in the 3-year-old filly pace (race No. 12). She has banked the most money ($156,525) of any of the evening’s participants. Lane Of Stone, a 3-year-old male trotter, is the winningest horse on the card this year with eight victories in nine starts. He heads race No. 13. The only undefeated horse racing is Elver Hanover, a 2-year-old male pacer. He’s five-for-five and is the 2-1 favorite in race No. 10.

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