01/29/2017 8:16PM

Stormy Liberal earns first stakes win in Clocker's Corner

Benoit & Associates
Stormy Liberal, under Norberto Arroyo Jr., wins the Clocker's Corner at 6 1/2 furlongs on turf.

ARCADIA, Calif.- Stormy Liberal, claimed for $40,000 in October, won the first stakes of his career in Sunday’s $82,575 Clocker’s Corner Stakes for turf sprinters at Santa Anita.

Sent off favored, Stormy Liberal ($6) ran about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course in 1:11.91, finishing 1 1/2 lengths in front of 19-1 Forever Juanito. Stormy Liberal and Forever Juanito dueled for the lead through fractions of 22.39 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 44.15 for a half-mile before Stormy Liberal took a clear lead when the field reached the main turf course.

Blameitonthelaw, a 12-1 shot, finished third, followed by Aoteroa, Moonlight Drive, Horse Laugh, McHeat, Cape Wolfe, Tribal Fighter, and Snow Cloud.

Stormy Liberal was ridden by Norberto Arroyo, Jr. for trainer Peter Miller and owner Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch. Miller has won six stakes at the current winter-spring meeting, which began on Dec. 26. Two of those wins came in the same race when Solid Wager and St. Joe’s Bay finished in a dead heat for first in the Grade 3 Midnight Lute Stakes on Dec. 31.

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Since being claimed, Stormy Liberal has made three starts for Hartunian and Miller, including second-place finishes in an optional claimer at Del Mar in November, and the Grade 3 San Simeon Stakes on the hillside turf course on Dec. 26.

A 5-year-old gelding by Stormy Atlantic, Stormy Liberal has won 4 of 17 starts and earned $247,570. He has earned $78,700 since being claimed.