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By Tom Ferrall
Staff Writer 

Miller notches 1,000th training victory

 

Last updated 11/23/2018 at 4:41pm



Peter Miller, who for several years has had the majority of his stable based at the San Luis Rey Training Center in Bonsall, reached a career milestone Nov. 16 at Del Mar when he recorded his 1,000th training victory.

The 2-year-old colt Haydens Havoc, ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, provided Miller with the landmark win when he rambled to a 1 1/2-length victory in the third race on the program.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” said Miller. “It took a lot of years to get there and a lot of hard work. I’ve got a great team behind me, from my family to the people who work for me in the stable to the owners. I’m thankful to them all."

Miller, 52, told the press he remembers scoring his first victory in April 1987 at Santa Anita with Dynashield. A young jockey named Gary Stevens, who would go on to become a Hall of Famer, rode Dynashield.

Hayden's Havoc enabled Miller to celebrate his 1,000th win at his favorite track.

"I love Del Mar," said Miller, who resides in Encinitas. "It's my home track."

Van Dyke, 24, said Hayden's Havoc made his job easy.

"The horse broke strong and put me in a great spot," said Van Dyke, who Nov. 3 teamed with Miller to win the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint with Stormy Liberal. "I'm happy to get Peter Miller's thousandth win. He gave me my first Breeders' Cup (win)."

Miller was pleased with the effort of both horse and jockey.

"It was a great race, great ride," said Miller. "Drayden's a super up-and-coming rider. Haydens Havoc's a neat horse."

Miller was joined in the winner's circle by his wife, Lani, and sons Jacob, 6, and Seth, 4, following the big win. Del Mar officials presented Miller with a congratulatory sign to commemorate the victory.

"It's a lot of wins," said Miller, who then poked a little fun at himself. "That means I probably lost about 4,000 races."

Miller knows it's tough to win races and his math was in the ballpark as his 1,000th victory came with his 5,439th starter.

Hayden's Havoc was the second betting choice in a field of eight and paid $6.20 after taking the five-furlong turf dash for maidens in :56.33. The colt is owned by the Rockingham Ranch of Gary Hartunian, one of Miller's longtime clients.

"Gary Hartunian's been a big benefactor of mine," said Miller.

Miller earned his 999th victory Nov. 15 in the third race at Del Mar with Mo See Cal, a 3-year-old filly owned by Hartunian and David Bernsen. Mo See Cal, with Hall of Famer Mike Smith aboard, won the one-mile allowance/optional claiming race by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:37.25 and paid $3.60.

In the second race Nov. 15, Ack, a 2-year-old colt who spent the summer working out at San Luis Rey, scored a game victory for trainer Keith Desormeaux. Ridden by Edwin Maldonado, Ack defeated Silent Alarm by a head after battling with that rival throughout the one-mile contest. Ack was timed in 1:39.89 and paid $9.60.

 

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