GOSHEN — Rider Lewayne Miller was unfamiliar with his horse J-S Swanman entering Tuesday's harness racing at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.
While competing in the Maple City Trot 3-year old colt race, Miller proved that experience with a horse isn't needed sometimes on a track.
Especially when that horse is really good
Miller and his horse emerged victorious in that race, which had a purse of $12,100, which was the highest amount paid out on Tuesday.
It was the sixth win of the year for J-S Swanman, which went from last to first in the race. The horse finished with a time of 2:00.
"I really didn't know a lot about the horse," said Miller. "When I've watched him in the past I've seen him out in the front most of the time. He raced really well today off the pace."
Miller did his homework in regards to having a plan when it came to riding the horse.
"I asked the trainer about the horse and how he is on tracks," Miller said. "He said that he might be a little bit shuffly starting out and then once he gets racing he's fine."
Miller, who's from Shipshewana and currently lives in Anderson, Indiana, was the lone rider who was a double winner on Tuesday.
He led Phine By Me to a win in the Maple City Trot 3-year old Filly 1st Division race. It was the third win of the year for that horse, which finished with a clocking of 2:03 at the fair. The purse was $6,050.
"I've raced a few times before at this fair," Miller said. "This is the first time I've won the Maple City, which has always been on my bucket list to do.
"I credit the horses and the people that take good care of the horses. The horses got around the track great today."
Another horse that saw success come its way again was Isitlikeitlooks, who claimed his eighth win of the year after placing first in the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit 3-year old Colt Pace 2nd Division race.
It's the fifth consecutive fair circuit win for the horse, which finished with a time of 1:58.
Riding that horse in six of those wins has been Jeffrey Dever, who's from Converse, Indiana.
"He's just got a really nice way of going," said Dever, who earned a purse of $3,000. "He's also got good manners out on the track and he's put together right for the half-mile tracks."
The horse took the lead for good with a half-mile remaining in the race.
"I got away on top and then (J-S Allnitelong rider) Alex (Udell) was on the outside of me and I let him go and then I came back around him and led the rest of the way."
Dever has been a harness racing driver for several years at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.
"I'm a third generation horseman so I've grown up on county fairs and I always love coming to Goshen," Dever said.
Wealth was spread among the riders Tuesday, as six different riders were victorious.
The winner in the $6,050 purse in the Maple City Trot 3-year old Filly 2nd Division race was Summit City Swan and rider Derek Hooley. The winning time was 2:02.
To start the day, Mike Peterson rode Faye's Jet Mile to a win in the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit 3-year old Filly Pace 1st division race. The horse finished with a lifetime best time of 1:58. It was the horse's second straight win on the fair circuit.
In the next race, Jay Cross rode Shes Cruising Home to a first place finish in the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit 3-year old Filly Pace 2nd division race. A time of 2:00 was produced by that horse and rider, which won by a nose over second place finisher Tequila's Jet and rider Doug Rideout.
It was the fourth win of the season and 10th career win for the horse.
Also posting its fourth win of the year was Tellitlikeitwas, who won the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit 3-year old Colt Pace 1st Division race. That horse – behind the riding of Don Eash – finished with a time of 2:00.
The purse was $3,000 for all the races that weren't the Maple City Trot.