When it comes to the $1 million Juvenile Turf, trainer Darrin Miller hopes that experience will count for something.
Miller is the trainer of King Ledley, whose eight starts represent the most of any of the 12 runners entered in the one-mile turf race. King Ledley made all eight of his stars in Ireland, winning once and finishing second or third in several group stakes. He was purchased privately by Tom and Bonnie Hamilton's Silverton Hill Stable before his third-place finish in the Goffs Million Sprint at the Curragh.
He came to Miller's barn in mid-October and worked three times at Keeneland before shipping to California over the weekend. On Tuesday, King Ledley, equipped with blinkers he wore in three of his last four starts, blew out three furlongs in 36.84 seconds over the Santa Anita turf course with Rafael Bejarano up.
"We just wanted to get him across the ground and kind of let him know what we're here for," Miller said. "I was pleased, Rafael was pleased. He extended when he asked him to and went through his paces like he should."
Miller said that King Ledley "was a little green" when he first arrived in America, but "he jumped into everything fairly quickly. I'm pleased with the way he's handled himself here."