Derby Contenders

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Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
Sep 29 2012 Chandelier Santa Anita Park I 1 1/6 M 3 REPLAY


Peter Miller


His interest in horses started at a young age when his parents would take him to the racetrack to watch their horses run. Peter has shown his talents with the young horses by guiding Comma To The Top to victories in all of the juvenile stakes at Hollywood Park including the G-1 Cash Call Futurity. Comma To The Top started in the 2012 Kentucky Derby. He followed that with another successfull campaign of top two year old Majestic City.Peter wanted to be a jockey so at age 10 he went to a jockey school in Castaic, California for one year.When it was obvious he would grow to tall to pursue his dream of being a jockey, so he started to work as a groom on the backside during high school.After graduation, he worked full-time as a groom for the late Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Wittingham.Peter saddled his first winner, Dynashield, on April 25, 1988 at Santa Anita Park.Set Play gave him his first Grade I win in the Del Mar Debutante in September 2010.

Gary Barber, Cecil Barber & Kevin Tsujihara



Empire Maker--Miss Excitement, by Rajab

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Miss Empire’s female family has already found success with her sire, Empire Maker, thanks to Grade 1 winner and Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile.

Empire Maker never ran worse than third in eight races, capturing the Belmont Stakes, Wood Memorial and Florida Derby, all Grade 1s.

The stallion is a son of Toussaud, a Grade 1 queen herself who produced three other Grade 1 winners and was honored as Broodmare of the Year in 2002.

Empire Maker has been just as, if not more, successful in the breeding shed as his dam, siring the likes of dual Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic champion Royal Delta; Grade 1 winners Bodemeister and Grace Hall; and three of the last four heroines of the Grade 1 Spinster in Mushka, Acoma and In Lingerie.

Like Pioneerof the Nile, Bodemeister also placed in the Kentucky Derby, while Grace Hall ran third in last year’s Kentucky Oaks.

Miss Empire is out of the Rajab mare Miss Excitement, who never faced stakes company while spending the majority of her career running on turf.

Unlike her dam, Miss Empire competed against stakes rivals in all but her maiden win last year, racking up a win, a Grade 1-placing and Grade 2 third against the boys.

Miss Excitement never showed much on track, but did hit a homerun in the shed when foaling Group 1 sprinting hero Bordonaro. She is a half-sister to multiple Grade 3-placed stakes victor Seahawk Gold as well as Group 2 second Beyond the Waves, herself the dam of Grade 3 vixen Emerald Beech.

This female line also includes dual champion sprinter Decathlon.

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