A trainer, a jockey and three stallions top the list of the individuals to make the most impact on the TRC Global Rankings through the exploits of their runners at the Breeders’ Cup meeting at Del Mar.
Del Mar specialist Miller’s stunning double on Saturday with Stormy Liberal (BC Turf Sprint) and Roy H (TwinSpires Sprint) headline a dramatic arrival on the biggest stage for the 51-year-old trainer, who is based at San Luis Rey Downs, just south of Los Angeles.
As a result Miller has rocketed 22 places up the world trainers’ rankings to #73, helped in no small way because the horse who was beaten just a head into second by 30/1 Stormy Liberal was another Miller runner, the better-fancied 13.9/1 shot Richard’s Boy. And Roy H’s victory two hours later was actually completing a Graded-race treble on the card for Miller, who had earlier won another sprint, the G3 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes over five furlongs, with 4-year-old filly Belvoir Bay.
That all added up to loads of points – 14 – for a trainer who won the first of his previous five Grade 1s in 2007 but had never tasted success at a Breeders’ Cup – although he came close in 2013, when Reneesgotzip was second in the Turf Sprint, beaten half a length by Mizdirection.
Roy H’s performance was the second-highest rated of the week worldwide according to Racing Post Ratings, which gave him a mark of 128 – joint highest with Godolphin’s UK-trained Harry Angel for a sprinter anywhere in the world and ahead of horses like Chautauqua, Drefong and Lady Aurelia (who finished down the field behind Roy H on Saturday when favourite).
Highest overall RPR of the week went, of course, to Classic hero Gun Runner (130).
More Than Ready
Roy H’s sire also made a mighty move up the rankings thanks to a Breeders’ Cup double. The son of Southern Halo (a son of Halo) is now a Top 30 stallion, climbing 21 places to #30 with an 11-point gain week on week, after Rushing Fall’s success in the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Roy H’s win.
The 20-year-old, who shuttles between WinStar Farm in Kentucky and Vinery Stud in New South Wales, has now won five BC races. He has been responsible for a clutch of top-class performers across the world, including 24 G1 winners on four different continents, according to winstarfarm.com
That the Darley stallion’s 2018 U.S. fee is up to $250,000 (from $150,000) is in part down to his two winners at the Breeders’ Cup (Bar Of Gold in the Filly & Mare Sprint and Talismanic in the Longines Turf). Of course, five other G1s (two of them from Songbird and another two from subsequent BC Juvenile third Bolt D’Oro) didn’t hurt either.
No other U.S.-based stallion has been responsible for as many as seven G1 winners in 2017. That total puts Medaglia D’Oro just one behind another Darley giant, the Newmarket-based world #2, Dubawi (whose fee is £250,000).
Megalia D’Oro, a son of El Prado (by Sadler’s Wells), is up to ninth in the world sires’ rankings (from #11) after gaining seven points week on week. The 18-year-old is another sire who shuttles to Australia. His Aussie progeny includes Golden Slipper winner Vancouver.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn became the late Scat Daddy’s first BC winner on Friday, helping push the son of a previous Coolmore BC winner, Johannesburg, back up to tenth in the TRC Global Rankings (up three places) with a gain of seven rankings points.
While Scat Daddy himself was a superb dirt runner, most of his biggest successes as a stallion have come on turf, Mendelssohn joining a list of top-level performers such as Caravaggio, Lady Aurelia and No Nay Never.
The Puerto Rican is back in the Top 20 in the jockeys’ standings after Forever Unbridled (Longines Distaff) and World Approval (Mile) helped him to a seven-point gain week on week.
That made the 45-year-old the leading jockey of the meeting – he was the only one to ride more than one winner – and puts him joint second in the BC all-time list alongside Jerry Bailey on 15 winners (but 11 behind the leader, Mike Smith).