05/13/2017 5:09PM

Arms Runner gives Miller stakes win five on hillside course

Benoit & Associates
Arms Runner made his stakes debut in Saturday's Desert Code Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Arms Runner gave trainer Peter Miller his fifth stakes win on the hillside turf course this year in Saturday’s $79,190 Desert Code Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.

Arms Runner had his stakes debut in the Desert Code Stakes. Ridden by Norberto Arroyo Jr., Arms Runner ($5.20) closed from fifth in a field of seven to catch 6-5 favorite Cistron in the final furlong.

“I was concerned we’d get there,” Miller said. “It looked like he had plenty of horse. Norberto rides overconfident for me sometimes.”

Arms Runner ran about 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:12.33. The Miller-trained Big League and What’sontheagenda set a rapid pace of 21.36 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 43.39 for a half-mile. Arms Runner was second with a furlong to go, and closed impressively.

Arms Runner finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Cistron, who was 7 1/2 lengths clear of What’sontheagenda, a 21-1 shot who finished third.
Rebel War finished fourth, followed by City Storm, Big League and Farley.

Arms Runner races for Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch and is unbeaten in two starts, having won a maiden race on the hillside turf course April 20. By Overdriven, Arms Runner was purchased for $525,000 at the 2016 Ocala Breeders’ Sale of 2-year-olds in training.

“We’ve been high on the horse,” Miller said. “I stuck my neck on the line when we bought the horse.”

Arms Runner has earned $79,500.

Miller has won a stakes each month this year on the hillside turf course. Stormy Liberal has accounted for three of the wins – the Clocker’s Corner in January, Joe Hernandez in March and Siren Lure Stakes last month. Conquest Farenheit won the Baffle Stakes in February on the hillside turf course.