Miller hopes to keep rolling at Del Mar with sprint champion Roy H

Miller hopes to keep rolling at Del Mar with sprint champion Roy H
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Trainer Peter Miller ranks a Saturday at Del Mar, November 4, 2017, as probably the third-best day of his life.
Considering his marriage to his wife Lani and the birth of their two sons are in a dead heat for the No. 1 spot, the climactic day of Del Mar’s first time as a Breeders’ Cup venue is about as high as it could be on Miller’s current ratings list.
Miller went into it without a Breeders’ Cup win but, in a matter of about two hours, saddled Stormy Liberal ($62.40) and Richard’s Boy to a 1-2 finish in the $1 million Turf Sprint and Roy H ($11.80) to victory in the $1.5 million Sprint.
In the fourth race on the Wednesday card here, Stormy Liberal won for the first time in four starts since the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. Saturday, Roy H, who opened 2018 with a victory in the Palos Verdes at Santa Anita on February 3, makes his first start since making the long trip to Dubai and a third-place finish in the $2 million Golden Shaheen sprint on Dubai World Cup day. Roy H is the 2-1 Crosby favorite against nine rivals in a race that is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Twinspires Breeders’ Cup Sprint in November at Churchill Downs.
Déjà vu anyone?
“Maybe a little,” Miller said Friday morning. “Hopefully that (Stormy Liberal win was a good omen for Saturday. Del Mar has always been a very special place for me. I’ve been coming here since I was eight years old with my dad, and there’s no place in the world like it to me.
“It’s the first step on the road back to the Breeders’ Cup for Roy H. So this isn’t the end-all, be-all. But I think I’ve got him about 90 percent cranked and hopefully that’s enough.”
Roy H, a 6-year-old son of More Than Ready, was off a beat slow in the Golden Shaheen and finished three-quarters of a length behind Mind Your Biscuits, who edged X Y Jet for the win.
“He didn’t get beat very far and I think with a little better break and clean trip he would have won. But that’s horse racing,” Miller said. “It’s a long way to fly for bad luck, but that’s the name of the game.”
The long-term effects of the round trip to the Middle East are always a concern for a horse making his comeback start in the U.S. But Miller sees no signs of regression with Roy H, who has earnings of more than $1.7 million off seven wins in 19 starts.
“He’s acting and training like his old self, his weight and his coat are good,” Miller said. “He’s happy, and if he’s happy, I’m happy.”
Roy H was an unlucky second to Ransom the Moon in the 2017 Crosby. Ransom the Moon is back to defend his title but is 6-1 on the morning line.
“It’s always a tough race, and (Roy H) is going to have to run well to win,” Miller said. “I wouldn’t trade places with anybody, that’s for sure.”
The field from the rail: Annie’s Candy (Evin Roman, 30-1), American Pastime (Corey Nakatani, 15-1), Roy H (Kent Desormeaux, 2-1), American Anthem (Mike Smith, 5-2), Ransom the Moon (Flavien Prat, 5-2), Tribal Storm (Irving Orozco, 30-1), Stone Hands (Mario  Gutierrez, 30-1), St. Joe Bay (Tyler Baze, 8-1), Edwards Going Left (Drayden Van Dyke, 10-1), Touching Rainbows (Gary Stevens, 10-1) and Stallwalkin’ Dude (Martin Pedroza, 15-1).

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