05/21/2017 6:24PM

Santa Anita stewards fine Miller for scratching horse

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Leading trainer Peter Miller was fined $1,500 for scratching Got Even from Sunday’s eighth race at Santa Anita for not wanting to race the 8-year-old gelding.

Miller said on Sunday morning that Got Even was withdrawn because “I didn’t like the spot.” He added, “I don’t like his energy level.”

Miller repeatedly emphasized that Got Even was not ill, and strongly criticized the rules for late scratches, saying California does not allow trainers the flexibility of withdrawing horses.

“I know him pretty well,” Miller said of Got Even. “I bought him as a yearling. I don’t think it’s in the best interest of the horse and the public to run him.

“Call it a scratch list. Call it something.”

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In most cases, horses are withdrawn for illness or injury. Other factors come into play to a lesser extent, such as worker’s compensation issues involving trainers. Horses can be withdrawn from stakes worth $100,000 or more within an hour of post without penalty. Got Even was entered in an optional claimer with a purse of $58,000.

This is the second time this month Miller has been sanctioned for a late scratch. On May 11, Miller was fined $1,000 for the late withdrawal of Moon Kitty from a maiden claimer when he elected not to run the 3-year-old filly. Moon Kitty won Sunday's seventh race for maiden claimers as the 2-1 favorite.