Trainer Peter Miller saddled four winners on Saturday to open a six-win lead over his pursuers and appear to salt away his third straight Del Mar fall training championship and his fourth in the five years of the meet's existence.
Miller's wins Saturday came with Gray Magician (2nd, Flavien Prat, $3.00), Acker (3rd, Rafael Bejarano, $17.00), Damiano (4th, Drayden Van Dyke, $3.20) and Suspicious Spouse (9th, Prat, $7.60)
Miller's 11 wins puts him six ahead of Jerry Hollendorfer and seven up on Phil D'Amato, Bob Baffert and Brian Koriner with five days remaining.
“We're in good shape,” Miller said Sunday morning. “This meet has exceeded my expectations. I really didn't know, coming in, how we'd do because we'd run hard all year and I didn't know what we had left. We've won some photos and got some really good rides, which is what needs to happen to win a training title.”
Miller secured fall championships with 15 wins in 2014, 16 wins in 2016 and 19 last year. Thirteen wins in 2015 left him two behind Doug O'Neill.
“I knew I had to win two or three (Saturday) because I really don't have that many left to run,” Miller said.
The jockey race remains tight with Van Dyke (12 wins) one ahead of defending champion Prat and Geovanni Franco. Prat won twice on Saturday to pick up one on Van Dyke and move into a tie for second. Joe Talamo won the Seabiscuit Handicap on Caribou Club and is tied with Van Dyke for stakes victories with three.
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