12/30/2012 5:45PM

Santa Anita: Comma to the Top, Appealing Tale should factor in major stakes for Miller

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Benoit & Associates
Star sprinter Comma to the Top will be pointed to the Palos Verdes on Jan. 19.

With a 2-year-old and a veteran 4-year-old, trainer Peter Miller won races at Santa Anita on Saturday with horses who could be part of major stakes in coming months.

Miller won a maiden race over a mile on the main track with Appealing Tale, who was racing around two turns for the first time. Later in the day, Comma to the Top won the sixth race of his career in the $100,000 Daytona Stakes over six furlongs.

Appealing Tale was timed in 1:37.75, a win that will lead to a start in an allowance race in late January, if Miller has his way. He said he would prefer an allowance race to a stakes, such as the $200,000 Robert Lewis Stakes for 3-year-olds on Feb. 2.

If Appealing Tale runs well in his next start, Miller said a stakes will be considered later this winter.

“I’d like to run him through his condition before he runs in a stakes,” Miller said.

The maiden race win was Appealing Tale’s third start after a fourth and a third in sprints.

Comma to the Top led throughout the Daytona, which was scheduled for the hillside turf course but was transferred to the main track because of rain earlier in the day. He beat four rivals in a race that lost six runners after the surface switch.

Owned by Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Kevin Tsujihara, Comma to the Top surpassed $1 million in career earnings in the Daytona. He has earned $1,027,696 in his 25-race career. The highlights include a win in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity in 2010 and a second in the Santa Anita Derby in 2011.

Even though Comma to the Top will be a 5-year-old in 2013, “it just seems like he’s been around for a while,” Miller said.

Comma to the Top has won three stakes in his last five starts, including the Big Bear Handicap over a mile here in November. Miller said

Comma to the Top will be kept to sprints, with the $150,000 Palos Verdes Stakes over six furlongs on Jan. 19 as a likely next start.

Miller said that Reneesgotzip, who won the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes in January 2012 and was second in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes on Dec. 26, has been turned out for the rest of the winter.

A 4-year-old filly in 2013, Reneesgotzip will be pointed for stakes in the second half of the year.

“We want to freshen her up,” Miller said. “She just needs a break. It’s a good time to do it. She runs hard and she’s a small filly.”