Del Mar, Hollywood Park, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Watch out! It’s Miller time at Santa Anita

Trainer Peter Miller started off the year hot at Santa Anita, but went into a horrendous slump in March.

Now, all is right with the world.

Miller, who is the darling of HRTV on replays of the races as he roots his horses home, went a sparkling 6-for-13 last week in Arcadia.

Maybe Miller’s slump was a combination of his horses running through their conditions and adjusting to life at San Luis Rey Downs, again.

Years ago, Miller trained out of the Bonsall training center, but then as he got more horses he stayed on track, training a lot at Hollywood Park. Since the Inglewood track closed in January for good, Miller is once again training out of the Northern San Diego County center and his horses are responding.

His horses are also out of the limelight and away from clockers so Miller’s horses have been getting some nice prices.

Miller looks like he has a couple good shots again on Friday and the 2-year-olds are just getting in the starting gate. Look for an all out assault at Del Mar.

Miller had the most training wins last week and moved into second in the spring/summer Santa Anita standings.

Leader Doug O’Neill went 2-for-10 and third place Jerry Hollendorfer was also 2-for-10. Bob Baffert is slumping and went 0-for-7.

With Rafael Bejarano out, Joe Talamo is atop the jockey standings and he went 6-for-27 on the week. Tyler Baze (33 starts) and apprentice Drayden Van Dyke (26 mounts) had five wins each. Kent Desormeaux is making in-roads as he was 4-for-14 and import Elvis Trujillo is showing he is one to watch.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Monday’s top choice winners: 3 (Lost Bus $7.40, first race; Cyclometer $4, second; Stormin Lute $6.40, sixth)

Monday’s second choice winners: 1 (Candy’s Sunrise $10, third)

Monday’s third choice winners: 1 (Says Who $10, eighth)

Monday’s long shot winners: 1 (Miss Serendipity $29.80, seventh)

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Hollywood Park, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita break wasn’t thought through

If case you didn’t realize it, Santa Anita won’t race again until Saturday and Sunday.

On top of that, it won’t race next week until Friday.

Say what?

As one Santa Anita executive explained to me, the track was concerned about its horse inventory since it took over most of Hollywood Park’s dates after the demise of the Inglewood track. Perfectly understandable. Santa Anita began asking Northern California horsemen to send entries south to Arcadia a couple of months ago if they thought they would be competitive and it has shown in the entries.

Here’s my problem with Santa Anita’s current hiatus: the winter/spring meet will end THIS Sunday with mandatory payouts in wagers like the Pick Six and the “new” spring/summer meet will begin on April 25.

If Santa Anita was truly concerned about filling races at this time of the year, and in the next two months, it would have ended the traditional meet LAST Sunday and given the sport an 11-day break.

Yes, I know the sport is year-round, but an extended break would have allowed for some mini-vacations for some backstretch workers and given the horses some needed days off. It also would have allowed gamblers to build up bankrolls.

It also would have given the Santa Anita turf course a break. It would have given it time for some rejuvenation and maybe a little extra water.

But God forbid, we take a weekend off when we could be making some money, sport be damned.

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Hollywood Park, Horse racing

Hollywood Park picks for Saturday, Dec. 21 (updated)

FIRST RACE: 1. Sinfully, 2. Imperative, 3. Square Dancer. LONG SHOT: Christopher Street.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Fire in the Wind, 2. Sammy’s a Runnin’, 3. Muchos Besos. LONG SHOT: Courtside.

It looks like the connections of FIRE IN THE WIND are trying to get one more victory out of this Hollywood Park-loving horse before Sunday’s closing day. This 6-year-old gelding has four career wins in Inglewood out of five lifetime wins. He has been away since April, but has a nice workout last week and might be ready to roll.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Dancinginthestreet, 2. Blameitonthecat, 3. Abide in Me. LONG SHOT: Kitten de Pere.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Katie’s Garden, 2. Tiz Midnight, 3. Legacy. LONG SHOT: Provenance.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Lucky Cotton, 2. Too Fast to Pass, 3. Old Man Lake. LONG SHOT: Judge Carr (SCRATCHED).

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Pretty Storm, 2. U R Lucky, 3. Fashionably Rich. LONG SHOT: Graycious Guest.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Sensationalize, 2. Level headed, 3. Somethingabouther. LONG SHOT: Foxy Boss.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Guidopanzini, 2. Change of Plan, 3. Da Ruler. LONG SHOT: Cost of Freedom.

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NINTH RACE: 1. U S Citizen, 2. Brokered, 3. Protocal. LONG SHOT: Weewinnin.

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TENTH RACE: 1.  Swiss Lake Yodeler, 2. Global Hottie, 3. Sprouts. LONG SHOT: Meinertzhageni. GLOBAL HOTTIE IS SCRATCHED.

There is no doubt these 2-year-old Cal-bred fillies will have a tough time beating Bob Baffert’s GLOBAL HOTTIE, who will likely be odds on, but this Jerry Hollendorfer trainee SWISS LAKE YODELER just might be the one. Lately, it has been Hollendorfer’s world and we’ve just been living in it as he has been on fire. This 2-year-old daughter of Swiss Yodeler beat a lot of these in this race on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. If you remember that day, which was the first day of the Breeders’ Cup, there was a tremendous inside speed bias. However, this filly came out slightly off the pace and she was four wide most of the way so we’re giving her extra credit for that and expect a big effort here.

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ELEVENTH RACE: 1. Moscato Girl, 2. Writer Fever, 3. Ipolita. LONG SHOT: Anniversary Kitty.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Friday’s top choice winners: 1 (Julio’s Gold $8.20, third race)

Friday’s second choice winners: 3 (Sprague River $9.40, first; Scorcher $7, fifth; Oscillator $7.80, seventh)

Friday’s third choice winners: 0

Friday’s long shot winners: 2 (Time for Angie $15.20, second; Candiz $21.40, fourth)

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