Max Contract stuns in Mistletoe Shalee

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Max Contract entered Saturday’s (July 16) $150,000 Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands with the least experience. But, despite making only her fifth career start, the daughter of Huntsville flashed an incredible turn of speed in the homestretch and devoured pacesetter Boudoir Hanover on the wire to capture the event for 3-year-old pacing fillies in a stakes record-equaling 1:48.3.

As expected, odds-on favorite Treacherous Dragon and Tim Tetrick left for the front and yielded to second choice Boudoir Hanover before the :26.3 opening quarter. Boudoir Hanover and driver Todd McCarthy were able to slow the half to a respectable :54.3 as Andy Miller took Max Contract to the outside at that point and looked to advance. Dexter Dunn, aboard Trick Of The Light, helped the cause, pulling shortly past the half and advancing quickly on the pacesetter.

Max Contract appeared to be showing that inexperience on the final turn as Miller was unable to keep her close to cover, allowing Balance and Yannick Gingras to slip off the pylons into the coveted second-over spot and make things more difficult. Once past three-quarters in 1:22.1, it appeared for the most part to be a two-filly race as Boudoir Hanover battled tenaciously on the front and Tim Tetrick attempted to rouse Treacherous Dragon. Miller may have had difficulty with Max Contract getting through the final turn at high speed, but once the $200,000 yearling purchase made it into the homestretch, she hit another gear that few fillies possess. With Miller only asking her with mild encouragement, Max Contract blistered wide and steamrolled the tested favorites with authority, pacing her final quarter in :25.3 and winning by a half length. Boudoir Hanover managed to hold off Treacherous Dragon in the battle for second.

Owned by Andy Miller Stable, Steve Heimbecker and Jean Goehlen, Max Contract won in her first Grand Circuit start. A winner in three of four starts heading into the race, her lone defeat was due to a break in stride in a New York Sire Stakes event at Vernon Downs in June.

“I couldn’t be happier,” said trainer Julie Miller with an ear-to-ear smile in the winner’s circle. “When she saw the stretch, she took off.”

As a 16-1 offering, Max Contract paid $35.60 to win.

The 1:48.3 mile equaled the stakes record for the Mistletoe Shalee, which was set a year ago by Hot Mess Express.