Murjan Home from Peru
“You never know where a good horse will come from,” trainer Darrin Miller said today about his hope for the Juvenile.
Murjan is a Kentucky-bred son of Officer who was undefeated in three starts in Peru, winning by a combined 27 3/4 lengths.
“An agent in Lexington passed him on to the Hamiltons,” Miller said. “We flew to Peru and watched him and liked him. He was very impressive.”
After Tommy and Bonnie Hamilton purchased him, Murjan worked in Lima on Oct. 21 and then shipped to Miami where he spent seven days in quarantine. On Thursday night, Murjan was flown to Indianapolis and then vanned to Churchill Downs, arriving at the track at 3:30 this morning.
Miller, who gets on many of his horses, said he was able to get on Murjan while he was in Peru, so he is somewhat familiar with the colt.
“He has been in quarantine seven days, so we are going to play his schedule by ear,” Miller said of Murjan, to be ridden by Rafael Bejarano. “I just got a peek at him when he got in this morning and then now, but so far everything looks good.”
This is the third consecutive year Miller has had a foreign runner arrive in his barn from the Hamiltons. In 2008 Driving Snow (GB) came over from Ireland after winning one of four races--with that victory coming over future champion Sea The Stars. In his debut for Miller, Driving Snow ran second in the Grade III Bourbon at Keeneland. In 2009, King Ledley also came over from Ireland, and in his first start for Miller ran tenth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita.
According to records, Murjan was a $9,000 RNA at the Keeneland November 2008 Sale. He was purchased privately there by Dante Zanelli, agent.
(Edited from track notes with additional content by Dick Downey)