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Despite five wins, Miller considers himself unlucky

On the 23rd day of the 2010 Del Mar Thoroughbred Club meet, San Luis Rey Downs Thoroughbred Training Center trainer Peter Miller obtained his fifth win of the meet when Winter Camp won the fifth race August 20. Although that made Miller one of only 10 trainers with at least five wins at the meet, he still feels that the meet to that point hadn’t met his expectations.

“We’ve been a little unlucky, honestly,” Miller said. “We probably should have eight or nine.”

Of the four trainers with exactly five wins as of August 20, Miller had the most second-place finishes. Six of his horses finished second, including Winter Camp in an August 5 race, the 3-year-old gelding led from shortly after the break to after entering the stretch, and two of Miller’s horses finished third in Miller’s first 35 starts of the meet

Miller’s first win at Del Mar this year took place on July 22, when Comma to the Top won a 5 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-olds. Twelve horses entered a July 28 race for 2-year-old statebreds, and Miller’s Offlee Wild Boys won the 5 1/2-furlong contest by 2 1/2 lengths.

Just seven days after Offlee Wild Boys won his first race in five career starts, the gelding in the August 4 Graduation Stakes, which is also a 5 1/2-furlong race for two-year-old statebreds. The short period of rest didn’t keep Offlee Wild Boys from finishing fourth - which paid $6,000 of the $100,000 total purse. Miller expects that the next race for Offlee Wild Boys will be the I’m Smokin stakes race on Labor Day.

Miller had five entries August 5 but wasn’t successful until the day’s final race, when in another 5 1/2-furlong race for two-year-olds Gibson Home Run prevailed in his first start.

Del Mar’s first August 12 race was a six-furlong contest for 4-year-olds and up. Talk Circuit, a 7-year-old gelding, won his first race since Miller took over as his trainer. Talk Circuit, who is owned by Fallbrook attorney Clay Sides, led throughout the race.

Winter Camp finished the August 20 race, a five-furlong allowance race, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of second-place Get Funky. Despite breaking fifth, Winter Camp had the lead 3/16 of a mile into the race and never trailed afterwards.

Last year Miller had 10 wins, which placed him seventh among Del Mar’s trainers, in 58 starts during the 37-day meet. While Miller would have liked to have won some of the closer races, he is on target to meet his goal of being one of the top 10 trainers in wins. “If I can be in the top ten, I’m pretty happy with my meet,” he said.

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