THE DOWNS DRAWS FROM DEL MAR
For those that wondered about the drawing power of that obtuse oval that sits on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line, you can get your answer right here. Recent times have brought folks from all across the country for the so-called fastest five days in Thoroughbred racing, and this year is no different.
Peter Miller has enjoyed the success of the Southern California sun for many moons now. Born in Los Angeles and having worked for legendary trainers like Charlie Whittingham, Mike Mitchell, and Don Warren, conditioning Thoroughbreds has been some California dreaming for a guy that won his first race back in 1988. Recent years have been good to Miller as he has won five training titles at Del Mar (summer 2012, 2014, 2018, fall 2014, 2017) since 2012 and captured his first two Breeders’ Cup races (Turf Sprint, Sprint) last fall at the Seaside Oval.
Fresh off a fantastic meet at Del Mar that saw him win the training tile by an amazing 10 victories, the hard-working trainer wants to make it Miller time at Kentucky Downs on September 8. Sending out his first starter ever at the Franklin, Kentucky track, Multiplier will represent the Peter Miller barn in the $750,000 Kentucky Turf Cup. So why would one of the Golden State’s hottest conditioners be headed to the back roads of the Southeast?
“I can give you 750,000 good reasons why we are coming to Kentucky Downs,” cracks Miller. “I have never started a horse there but am looking very forward to participating in some good old country racing. I know they have done a great job there and we want to be a part of it all. “
Multiplier comes in to what may be the toughest Turf Cup ever fresh off a third place finish in the Del Mar Handicap on August 18. This four-year old son of The Factor has been busy in 2018. Making seven starts at four different venues (Del Mar, Santa Anita, Oaklawn, Belmont Park) thus far, he has picked up one win and two thirds in the process. Closing at the end in the mile and three sixteenths distance in his last start, Miller thinks this is a great opportunity to make his first start at Kentucky Downs a successful one.
“Multiplier has been doing really well lately and we think it is certainly worth making a run at the money with him here,” says Miller. “We think he is a horse for this course and we need to take a shot with him. The mile and a half distance is right for him and the wide turns certainly suits his style. I don’t think the up and down nature of the turf course will effect him and he seems to fit into this group really well.”
The field for the grade 3 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup is quite an accomplished group. If things are to add up for Multiplier, he will have to divide his way through the likes of Stakes winning horses like Nessy, Arklow, Bigger Picture, Manitoulin, Big Bend, Some In Tieme, and defending champ Oscar Nominated. Miller understands the challenges of shipping and winning against such a salty bunch.
“We have Joel Rosario as our rider and he has been hotter than a pistol,” says Miller. “This is not an easy spot to be in but our horse has told us he is ready and we think he certainly belongs. I can’t wait to be a part of that Kentucky Downs excitement.”
First post on September 8 is at 1:25 central time and the Turf Cup is scheduled as the tenth and final race on the card.