Updated on 09/17/2011 9:48AM

Illness was a blessing in disguise

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Horsephotos
Adminniestrator (left) rallies from ninth with a furlong remaining to nip Music's Storm (center) by a nose. Forbidden Apple (far right) was third.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Last month, Adminniestrator missed the Great State Challenge Turf at Sam Houston Race Park due to illness. It turned out there was a more lucrative restricted race for him waiting around the corner.

Saturday at Santa Anita, Adminniestrator gave owner Nico Nierenberg and trainer Patrick Gallagher a big payday with a victory in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf for California-breds and Florida-breds.

Ridden by David Flores, Adminniestrator ($20) rallied from 11th in the final quarter-mile to deny Music's Storm by a nose. A 6-year-old California-bred gelding, Adminniestrator ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.48.

"He was a little farther back than I thought he'd be," Gallagher said. "David had to save ground to the stretch and then pull out. It was a great ride."

Mayakovsky, who broke from the rail, led by 2 1/2 lengths through early fractions of 23.55 and 46.91 seconds. At the end of the backstretch, the chasing pack drew within a length of Mayakovsky, who slowly began to retreat through the field.

Stormy Roman, a Florida-bred who was 32-1, launched the first rally, and led briefly in midstretch before being passed by Forbidden Apple, the 5-2 favorite.

Adminniestrator was 11th on the backstretch. At the eighth-pole, Adminniestrator was ninth, trailing Stormy Roman by only three lengths. He closed well through the field to catch Forbidden Apple and then Music's Storm in the final stride.

Music's Storm finished a length in front of Forbidden Apple, who was followed by Special Matter, Miesque's Approval, Spinelessjellyfish, Lucky Molar, Turkish Prize, Stormy Roman, Ninebanks, Mayakovsky, and Gobi Dan.

The victory was a milestone for Nierenberg of La Jolla, Calif., who claimed Adminniestrator for $50,000 in June 2001. The Sunshine Millions was the first time that he had seen Adminniestrator win in person.

"We've been setting him up for this for the last two months," Nierenberg said.

Gallagher said Adminniestrator became ill before the Great State Challenge Turf and was rerouted to a one-mile optional claimer on turf at Hollywood Park on Dec. 19, a race he won.

"He had a colic symptom and I didn't want to ship on top of that," Gallagher said.

The Sunshine Millions was Adminniestrator's second stakes win in the last year. In April 2002, he won the Quicken Tree Stakes for California-breds.

Said Gallagher of his ex-claimer, "He doesn't owe us anything now."