Micks Miracle's Maiden Win Nets Owner-Breeder Liviakis More Than $250,000

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Ed DeRosa

January 2nd, 2015

When Micks Miracle finally made it to the starting gate, John Liviakis was going to make sure he got paid a lot more than what the purse offered if his homebred colt got the job done in his career debut.

So when Micks Miracle started on December 26 at Santa Anita Park, Liviakis not only loaded the car for a family-and-friends trip to the “Great Race Place” but also loaded his account.

And his confidence paid off, as Liviakis enjoyed the winner’s circle photo and $33,600 purse plus more than $200,000 in winnings from various pari-mutuel ventures including a $26,063 win bet on the 19-to-10 favorite in the field of 11. Liviakis also singled Micks Miracle in every multi-race wager and connected on a $100 Pick 5, a $170 Pick 4, a $375 Pick 3, and both ends of the double for more than $1,000 each.

“I was so extremely confident in this colt that this was the second- or third-largest bet I’ve ever had,” said Liviakis, 58, who lives in Mill Valley, California, north of San Francisco, and runs his eponymous consulting firm Liviakis Financial Communications Inc. “I can’t bet that kind of money in just one pool because you end up betting against yourself, so I had to spread that money around.”

Liviakis plans to continue to gamble with Micks Miracle, turning down (for now) offers in excess of $1-million for the Wildcat Heir colt who trainer Phil D’Amato plans to start in the seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes on February 1 at Santa Anita.

“We have very high hopes for him,” Liviakis said of nominating the horse to the Triple Crown. “It’s too early to know for sure if he could defy his pedigree to be a Kentucky Derby horse. We know it’s unlikely, but he hasn’t shown us he can’t to this point.

“He has a long, fluid, correct gait, and he’s got enough size and scope to him, and he’s sound, and that’s everything. We think he can keep going and stretching out, and we might get to a point where he says ‘no further,’ but for now we think he can handle seven furlongs and maybe keep going.”

In addition to his racehorse operation, Liviakis also manages a portfolio of broodmares and foals who board at the Aschinger’s War Horse Place in Lexington, Kentucky. Because of the reach of his racing and breeding operation, Liviakis said he’s always open to offers.

“I’m always a practical person and usually take offers when they can help me cover expenses, and the nature of this business is you have to sell the stars,” Liviakis said. “I think it’s too early to flip the owner on this one, though. He’s still a young horse and has to keep proving himself, but I’m going to stay the course.”

Liviakis credits Dana Aschinger for saving Micks Miracle’s life. He is the only foal out of the Cuvee mare Bubbley Blonde, who died of complications from her colt’s birth.

“He was a miracle to survive that night, and Mick is after my son Michael,” Liviakis said. “This is probably the best horse I’ve bred. Time will tell; I might be wrong. He’s still young and has to keep proving himself.”

Liviakis also bred Grade 1 winner Reneesgotzip as well as graded stakes winners Renee’s Titan, Handsome Mike, and Mighty Caroline, so calling Micks Miracle “the best horse” he’s bred is high praise.

Micks Miracle earned robust performance numbers in his career debut, notching a 96 Speed Rating, 119 Class Rating, and a 5 ¾ Ragozin figure—a repeat of which would be highly competitive in the San Vicente.

“Hopefully he can build on that and show that the maiden race wasn’t a peak event,” Liviakis said. “It’s not a storybook ending, though. He still has to finish the story.”