08/27/2013 2:39PM

Del Mar: First-time geldings A Toast to You, Summer Exclusive may run better in allowance feature


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DEL MAR, Calif. – A Toast to You and Summer Exclusive were second and fourth, respectively, in a turf sprint on Aug. 7, their first start following vacations, so their trainer, Peter Miller, is expecting improved performances from both when they meet again in a similar five-furlong allowance in the featured eighth race on Thursday at Del Mar.

But recent activity isn’t the only reason both could improve. Summer Exclusive is adding blinkers, which he used when winning first time out in March. And both have been gelded since that last race.

A Toast to You, who had run 17 times as a colt, winning 5, was gelded for an age-old reason, Miller said Tuesday morning.

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“He has an ornery disposition, and I just got tired of it,” he said.

Summer Exclusive, who has run just five times, “had an undescended testicle that we thought was bothering him,” Miller said.

Miller’s two runners both drew into the main body of the race, which can only accommodate seven starters owing to the rails being set 14 feet from their innermost position. There are four horses marooned on the also-eligible list.

A Toast to You came off his extended vacation with a strong runner-up effort on Aug. 7. He has done well on this course, with a win and that second in 3 starts.

“He ran well, and he needed the race. He should move forward,” Miller said.

Summer Exclusive was part of a pace duel in the Aug. 7 race, and faded in deep stretch to finish 1 1/2 lengths behind his stablemate.

“Hopefully he’ll show more speed with blinkers,” Miller said.

To prevail, Miller’s horses will have to hold off Strong Wind, who won a first-level allowance over this course on Aug. 1 and then came back 13 days later with a sharp try against a better field in the Green Flash Handicap. He crossed the wire third in that race, beaten a neck, but was judged to have been fouled late and was moved up to second.

El Mirage King and Kingpin Ryno also exit the Aug. 7 race. El Mirage King was third, without a visible excuse, and landed the outside post here. Kingpin Ryno moves to the rail after finishing last with a wide trip last time out.

Atta Boy Pete, idle since November, makes his first start on turf for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Before going to the sidelines, he often raced on or near the lead, so he could be part of the pace.

Da Ruler, who stopped badly in his first start in more than 13 months, is returning to a sprint, but is trying turf for the first time.