Mill Ridge & Nicoma News

Mill Ridge/Nicoma/Jim Miller

September 15, 2014

Friend/Client Jim Miller stays busy at Keeneland.

Jim Miller had a busy day at Keeneland Sunday, selling a colt and purchasing a pair of fillies, all in the
space of about an hour. Miller's Harlan's Holiday colt (hip 1449) sold for $330,000 to Whitehorse Stables.
The yearling is a West Virginia-bred out of Cape Cod Bay (Cape Town), a mare Miller purchased for $95,000
at the 2010 Keeneland November sale. Cape Cod Bay is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner
Buffythecenterfold (Capote). 

"I just liked the way she looked and the family, there is good family behind her," Miller said of the mare, one of 11 head in his commercial broodmare band. 

Of the yearling, Miller added, "Harlan's Holiday just fit the mare really well. This guy is a very strong colt; he's a very good mover. He was a trooper and did a lot of walking the last few days. I think he's a really good horse.

The yearling was consigned by Mill Ridge Sales and, through that operation's bloodstock division Nicoma,
Miller purchased a filly by Smart Strike (hip 1452) for $155,000 and one by Majesticperfection for $145,000
(hip 1420). 

"You have to think of it as a business," Miller, who is involved in big infrastructure finance, and also has
banking and real estate assets, said. "I bought two today and sold one. I bought two fillies and sold one
colt, so it worked out about the same on the day--I think I'm about $30,000 ahead.

Despite a long family history in the racing business, Miller himself is a relative newcomer to the breeding
industry. "My family, going way back, has been involved in racing," he explained. "But I just started myself in
2011."

Miller's broodmare band is split between Mill Ridge in Lexington and his new farm in West Virginia.
Of selling West Virginia-breds, Miller said, "I think the horse speaks for itself. If it's a good horse, it will sell.
Also West Virginia gives them another outlet as well because of the breeding program and the restricted
races.

Miller currently has nine horses in training and the obvious star of the stable is this year's GIII Arlington
Oaks and GIII Bourbonette Oaks winner Aurelia's Belle (Lemon Drop Kid). The 3-year-old filly, purchased for
$170,000 out of the 2012 Keeneland September sale, was fifth in Saturday's GIII Pucker Up S. "She did OK," Miller said of the Pucker Up effort.  "It was a tough race for her, she did not like the soft turf, obviously, and she carried a lot of weight and you just can't carry that much weight on a soft turf.

Miller is looking for his operation to only get bigger in the coming years. "We'll probably continue to expand," he explained.  "With a commercial operation, it's all about the options you have. It's a game of percentages."

-J Martini - TDN

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