Farm Horizons, September 1999

Canterbury's horse owner of year from Howard Lake

By Andrea Vargo

Racehorse owner Rod Miller of Howard Lake was chosen Canterbury Park horse owner of the year, recently.

Miller's horses had a record of 12 wins, eight second places, and six third places during the racing season, this year.

He has two firsts and a third in Iowa at Prairie Meadows race track, and now is receiving information from Keeneland race track to entice him there for next season.

Miller blames another local racehorse owner, Lowell Schrupp, for getting him started.

Schrupp took Miller along to watch his quarter horses run. Miller liked the races, but wanted to run longer races, so he started racing thoroughbreds, he said.

He now owns 13 of them, and eight of the horses are two-year-olds. Two of them he didn't race this year, and three only raced once.

His two two-year-old fillies won some for him, but his five older horses were the real winners, this year.

The oldest horse is seven, and proves that Miller believes in soundness and quality, when he breeds or purchases a horse.

Miller has a lot of fun with the claiming races.

He explained how a claiming race works.

The owner enters the horse in a claiming race and basically puts a purchase price on the horse.

A person has to be a licensed owner with a licensed trainer at the track to qualify to claim a horse, he said.

"Ten minutes before a race, you have to have the claiming amount with officials," said Miller.

One horse he recently claimed for $10,000, won $15,000 the next time she raced for Miller.

His trainer, Troy Bethke, was leading trainer at Canterbury in 1997 and 1998, and was second this year, said Miller.

Miller buys horses at the two-year-old training sales, and said with a sparkle of competition in his eye, "I will be really tough next year."

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