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Miller Time

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 12/29/2010 9:54:13 AM

There is nothing like Miller Time in certain circles. It could be Johnny Miller, the former golfing great who has more opinions than a know it all computer, those that love the great debate of ‘taste great, less filling, or Reggie Miller, the former great 3-point assassin for the Indiana Pacers who has hung up his Nikes.

Among the equine set, Peter Miller is the drink that quenches of late and horse bettors that get on board with his stock early and often figure to get paid. He had a break out meeting a couple of seasons ago at Del Mar and the feeling is he’ll be a force from now on.

Miller is a new face to some and an old hack to others. He has been around for decades, but has been in the background most of his career.

He once rubbed horses for Charlie Whittingham and came back to San Luis Rey Downs to get horses ready to run. He went to jockey school 30 years ago, and he handled some nice horses for the Bald Eagle including the ultra talented Palace Music.

Miller started training in the mid 80s, was sidelined by the jewelry business, and had been prepping horses at San Luis Rey for good horsemen like David Hofmans and Vlado Cerin.

The fact that his base of operations is San Luis Rey, a hop skip and a jump from Del Mar, gives him an edge somewhat on the climate factors that always come into play at the beach.

At the recently concluded Hollywood Park meet, Miller finished second in the standings only one off the leader despite saddling 53 fewer starters. He popped at 38% with 31 started and 11 of his other starters ran in the money.

Expect the Miller runners to be live off the layoff. He’s good with runners gone 6 months or more but when he brings them back within 6 weeks he is even more potent.

He’s not big on quick turn arounds but very solid with young stock and if Miller drops a horse from maiden special weight to maiden claiming, that’s a sign that the horse is set for a peak performance.

The trainer is 11 for 40 with that move the past 5 years and 53% of his starters in that category ran in the money.

He is doubly as potent with debuting maiden claimers as compared to maiden special weight starters and that goes to his low-profile ownership.

Good horsemen have the ability to keep horses going good and winning in bunches and Miller has that knack too.

One of his most potent moves during last year’s Del Mar meet was when he cut his runners back from routing to sprinting. He’s adept going to the other way also but the edge that horse bettors can point to on the cut back is that his horses are surely fit.

Of his route to sprint claimers the last 5 years, Miller has seen 10 happy endings with 46 starters with a median price of 9-2 and 11 others ran in the money.

The final thing, and one facet that should be in every horse bettor’s arsenal, is to have a decent concept of the strengths and weaknesses of the trainers on your favorite circuit.

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