California-based trainer Peter Miller scored back-to-back Breeders’ Cup victories in the 2017 and ‘18 Sprint with Roy H and the 2017 and ‘18 Turf Sprint with Stormy Liberal.
While Roy H hasn't made it to Santa Anita, Stormy Liberal was one of eight horses Miller has entered in this year’s meeting.
Watch the 2019 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd November.
BULLETPROOF ONE (Juvenile Turf Sprint): Miller was not happy that Bulletproof One was not chosen to be a starter and ultimately, he landed on the also-eligible list, needing one scratch to get in.
As a back-up plan, he is also entered in Friday’s $200,000 Golden State Juvenile Fillies, a dirt race restricted to California-bred fillies.
“She should have gotten in,” Miller said. “We were really upset with the Selection Committee. She’s the fourth leading earner in the race, a two-time stakes winner and was second in a ‘Win and You’re In’ race.”
In her only start on turf, Bulletproof One was beaten a head in the Speakeasy Stakes by a Miller-trained horse at Santa Anita on October 6th.
“She’s a consistent, fast filly and proved last time she doesn’t need the lead and handled the grass great,” Miller said.
BILLY BATTS (Juvenile Turf): This son of City Zip was second in the Del Mar Turf Juvenile and third in the Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita on October 6th. Miller is taking the blinkers off after the colt ran in them for the first six starts of his career.
“He got a little rank last time, we want him to relax a little bit better, we’re hoping the blinkers off helps him to relax a little bit,” Miller said. “We don’t want to be back, I’d like to be just off the pace third or fourth. He’s going to have to move forward, have to step up to win it.”
WRECKING CREW (Juvenile): Son of Sky Kingdom won his debut on July 27th at Del Mar and then finished second in the Grade 2 Best Pal and second to stablemate Nucky in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity (Nucky needed time off and was not entered in the Juvenile).
Wrecking Crew missed the Grade 1 American Pharoah because he was being treated for ulcers.
“Lot of questions,” Miller said. “Don’t know if he wants to the distance, don’t know exactly how good he is right now, but there’s only one way to find out.”
SPICED PERFECTION (Filly and Mare Sprint): Overcame a stumbling start to win the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland, her second Grade 1 victory of the year and third in her last five starts.
Miller said Spiced Perfection grabbed a quarter as a result of the stumble and she did miss a workout as a result.
She returns to Santa Anita where she won the Grade 1 La Brea for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs on Boxing Day.
A filly who likes to come from off the pace, she should get pace to close into and is well drawn on the outside. She has Hall of Famer John Velazquez to ride her for the first time.
“I like the draw, I think there’s going to be a lot of pace and it could set up for well for her, I think she’s tactical,” Miller said.
STORMY LIBERAL (Turf Sprint): Will attempt to join Goldikova as the only horse to win three consecutive runnings of a Breeders’ Cup race. He won the 2017 Turf Sprint going five furlongs at 30/1 at Del Mar. In 2018, he won the Turf Sprint going 5 1-2 furlongs at Churchill Downs at odds of 7/1.
Stormy Liberal, a 7-year-old gelding by Stormy Atlantic, is winless in six starts but has two wins and three seconds and is listed at 8/1 on the morning-line.
“I feel like he’s come up to this better than he’s come up to these other races,” Miller said. “His energy level’s very high, he’s hitting the ground great, I’m expecting a big effort from He’s getting no respect, but he didn’t get any respect the last two years. He’s the Rodney Dangerfield of Eclipse Award winners.”
Stormy Liberal finished third, beaten only 1 3-4 lengths in the Eddie Delahoussaye Stakes at Santa Anita on September 27th.
“He could have won that race, he checked coming into the stretch, he ran 17 feet wider than the winner and had an awkward in-between-horse trip.”
He’s another that has picked up John Velazquez.
“Anytime Johnny V is available you got to take him,” Miller said.
OM (Turf Sprint): Beaten a nose in the 2016 Turf Sprint and has only gone 2 for 14 since then. However, one of those wins came in a high-caliber turf sprint at five furlongs at Churchill Downs when breaking from post 12 in a 12-horse field. He set a course record of 1:02.24 for 5 1-2 furlongs.
Om was also second to the dual-surface Grade 1 winner World of Trouble in the Grade 1 Jaipur in June.
Miller said Om tailed off after that June 29th race at Churchill Downs and has been training well for his return.
“His last work was awesome,” Miller said.
BELVOIR BAY (Turf Sprint): This 6-year-old mare by Equiano makes her Breeders’ Cup debut over a course on which she has won 6 of 9 starts. Like Om, Belvoir Bay tailed off after running fourth in the Grade 1 Jaipur on June 8th.
As part of her five-race campaign this year, she was second to Blue Point in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan.
“Blue Point would be 6/5 in this race,” Miller said. “If she runs back to that race, she’ll win the race.”
Miller noted the switch from 6 1-2 furlongs down-the-hill to five furlongs helps Belvoir Bay the most of his three runners.
MO SEE CAL (Distaff): This California-bred daughter of Uncle Mo is making her graded stakes debut against Midnight Bisou, Paradise Woods and Wow Cat in the Distaff.
“Just taking a shot to try and hit the board,” Miller said. “If she could run third, we’d be pleased. She’s doing well, she likes the track, if you’re ever going to take a shot now’s the time.”