Calculator Wins in Santa Anita Return
Photo: Santa Anita Park
Calculator gets the victory in his return.

There was an intensity in Peter Miller's eyes as he peppered the winner circle with as many high fives as he could, indicating the neck victory in the seventh race Feb. 13 at Santa Anita Park was a little more than just a run-of-the-mill allowance win.

"He's back, he's back, he's back," the trainer repeated.

Coming off a layoff of more than a year, Richard Pell's Calculator started about as poorly as he could without stumbling and was last of nine after the first quarter, but moved five wide through the turn under jockey Flavien Prat in the seven-furlong dirt test and struck the front at the top of the stretch. Watch Video

"I was standing with Mr. Pell and we both said, 'Oh no, he got left,' " Miller said after the race. "We didn't feel good obviously at that point, but he's that kinda horse."

Calculator did look like a horse coming off a layoff in the final furlong, though, as Fusaichi Samuraiwho the In Summation   colt blew by in the turnbattled back on the rail, but the gray didn't quit and held on to win by a neck.

"Five wide, into a speed-favoring racetrack running into a :21 4/5 first quarter, and he still wins," Miller said. "I didn't even have him cranked. He missed a work two weeks ago. He's just that horse... The layoff definitely (showed). It was getting late in the last sixteenth of a mile... but he figured to get tired doing that and he didn't give up."

Last time out in January of 2015, Calculator broke his maiden impressively in the Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita, after finishing second to American Pharoah   in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) and FrontRunner (gr. I). But an ankle fracture he sustained in training derailed plans for a Triple Crown run.

"It's a disappointment when any horse, let alone a horse like this, gets hurtit's like a kick to the groin," Miller said. "We've all been there, and it literally makes you ill. I was ill, frustrated, disappointed, and I was doubting whether he could come back, too. So, it's been a long year."

Miller said he plans to run Calculator in a second-level allowance race next, ideally at a mile, but didn't rule out a stakes try if it's the right fit.
 

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