Trainer Peter Miller could be represented by as many as four contenders for the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival slated for June 6-8, including Belvoir Bay, Om,Proud Emma and Spiced Perfection.
The California-based conditioner has won a trio of stakes at Belmont, including the Grade 2 Kelso in 2015 with Appealing Tale; the Grade 2 True North with Roy H in 2017; and the 2017 Jersey Girl with Chalon.
Belvoir Bay and Om are both under consideration for the Grade 1, $400,000 Jaipur Invitational set for Belmont Stakes Day, June 8. The Jaipur is a Breeders' Cup Challenge Series “Win and You're In” event to the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Park on November 2.
A millionaire daughter of Equiano, the British-bred Belvoir Bay boasts a record of 11-6-2 from 26 starts, with nine being on turf, including a pair of graded scores at Santa Anita last season in the Grade 3 San Simeon and Grade 2 Monrovia.
Owned by Gary Barber, Belvoir Bay opened her 2019 campaign with a win in the Wishing Well at Santa Anita ahead of an impressive runner-up effort in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in March at Meydan when narrowly defeated by Blue Point.
She returned to action on May 26 to finish second in the off-the-turf Grade 3 Monrovia, contested over a fast main track at Santa Anita.
“She'd have won easy on the grass,” said Miller. “She's not as good on the dirt and she kind of stumbled at the start and rushed up. We're going to take a look and think about running her back in the Jaipur.”
While Miller meditates on Belvoir Bay, the conditioner said Om, a 7-year-old Munnings gelding, will shorten up for the six-furlong test on the Belmont turf following a pace-pressing fifth in the one-mile Opening Verse at Churchill Downs.
“He's doing well. We ran him one mile, a little prep stakes there and he got a little tired,” said Miller. “His best race was the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint  where he got beat a nose, so we thought we'd try and go that route again with him.”
Proud Emma, a 3-year-old Include chestnut, boasts a record of three wins and one second-place finish from seven starts. Miller is considering entering her in the Grade 1, $700,000 Acorn at one mile on Big Sandy for sophomore fillies.
The improving filly has finished fourth in her two most recent efforts when stepping up to the graded level in the Grade 2 Gazelle at the Big A and the Eight Belles at Churchill.
“She's doing well. We have one more breeze and then we'll make a decision, but that's the plan right now,” said Miller.
Last out, in a sloppy renewal of the Eight Belles, Proud Emma rallied from last of nine to earn a career-best 80 Beyer Speed Figure. Miller said Proud Emma could relish the one-turn mile at Belmont.
“We like the distance,” said Miller. “We're not sure if she's Grade 1-caliber but the distance should suit her. She tries hard and is a very nice filly.”
The ultra-consistent Spiced Perfection, a 4-year-old Smiling Tiger bay, boasts a record of 7-5-2 from 17 starts.
Spiced Perfection is nominated to both the Grade 3, $250,000 Bed o' Roses, a seven-furlong sprint on June 7; and the Grade 1, $700,000 Ogden Phipps at 1 1/16-miles set for June 8 – a Breeders' Cup “Win & You're In” event to the Grade 1 Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff.
Although Spiced Perfection captured the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland in April when sprinting seven furlongs, Miller said he is considering stretching the filly out.
“We're leaning towards the route race, the Ogden Phipps, at the moment,” said Miller. “We have another breeze to get through and make sure she's on top of her game. The Bed o' Roses looks pretty salty for a third of the money. I think if we can get a win at a longer distance, it would open up a lot of options for us.”
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