Maurice W. Miller III, a successful Kentucky pinhooker, died Oct. 4 in Lexington. He was 53.
Miller grew up around horses while living in Central Kentucky. He rode hunter/jumpers and worked at his father's Deer Lawn Farm. He later ventured to California to work for trainer John Russell.
Miller, who took up pinhooking in the 1990s, was rewarded handsomely on numerous occasions. He bought a Mr. Prospector yearling filly for $385,000 and resold her as a 2-year-old for $1 million. One year, he sold resold eight yearlings as juveniles for $3,370,000 that had been bought as yearlings for $2,135,000. Another time he purchased a Grand Slam yearling colt for $450,000 and resold him the following year for $2.9 million.
"We look for athletes," he told The Blood-Horse in describing his game plan. "And I'm probably swayed a little bit more in the direction of the pedigree than my pinhooking peers. But to get the perfect yearling, we would have to pay millions of dollars. So, we try to get our foot in the door other ways. We might buy a good-framed horse that is immature, or we might take a chance on a horse with some minor problems that other people are afraid of."
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy, P.O. Box 324, Simpsonville, Ky., 40067.