Six horses based at the San Luis Rey Training Center in Bonsall, including four from the barn of trainer Peter Miller, scored wins during opening week of the Del Mar summer racing season.
After no San Luis Rey runners reached the winner’s circle opening day, July 19, Gummy broke the drought for the training center by winning the fourth race July 20.
Gummy, a 3-year-old making his first start for trainer Doug O’Neill and his first start as a gelding, won a $20,000 maiden-claiming race under jockey Tyler Baze. The 9-5 favorite in the 5 1/2-furlong dash, Gummy defeated Orejas by a half-length and paid $5.60 after hitting the wire in 1:05.66.
The Miller barn notched its first victory of the season in the eighth race July 20 when the 2-year-old filly Midnight Summer made a winning debut in a $32,000 maiden-claiming event contested at 5 1/2 furlongs.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, front-running Midnight Summer fought off an early challenge from Acharnement before pulling away in the stretch for a 4 1/2-length victory. Midnight Summer stopped the timer in 1:06.18 and paid $16.60 after being dismissed at 7-1 in the wagering.
San Luis Rey runners visited the winner’s circle in back-to-back races July 21 when Meadowsweet won the third race for trainer Clifford Sise, Jr. and Texas Wedge took the fourth for Miller.
Meadowsweet scored a game victory under jockey Kent Desormeaux in a $62,000 allowance/optional claiming race on the turf. Battling on the lead throughout the 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-old fillies, Meadowsweet just held off Pacific Wind to win by a nose in 1:42.82. Meadowsweet paid $19.20 after collecting her second win in three starts.
The 2-year-old colt Texas Wedge topped nine opponents in a $50,000 maiden-claiming sprint while making his career debut. Breaking from post nine under apprentice jockey Evin Roman, Texas Wedge stalked the early leaders, took command entering the stretch and rambled to a 6 1/2-length victory in the 5 1/2-furlong affair. Timed in 1:03.92, Texas Wedge paid $10.00.
Miller saw another 2-year-old colt break his maiden July 22 when An Ocala Ten won the third race, an $80,000-$70,000 maiden-claiming event at 5 1/2 furlongs. With apprentice Roman aboard, An Ocala Ten led from start to finish at odds of 7-1 and returned $16.20 after defeating Graycaster by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:04.93.
The 7-year-old gelding Prime Issue allowed Miller to end opening week on a winning note when he captured the eighth race July 23. Roman was again at the controls and he guided Prime Issue to a front-running 4 3/4-length victory in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance/optional claiming sprint. Prime Issue posted a time of 1:17.02 and paid $10.00 as the 4-1 second choice in the wagering.
Miller was by far the most active trainer during open week as he sent out 26 runners during the first five days of the 36-day meeting. The four victories had Miller tied with Peter Eurton for the top spot in the trainer standings through week one of the seven-week season that runs through Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 4).