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M.E. "Buster" Millerick

M.E. "Buster" Millerick
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   In a career that spanned almost 50 years, California native Michael Ernest “Buster” Millerick became known as one of the finest trainers on the West Coast. He saddled his first stakes winners – 2-year-olds Yankee Dandy and Rackatack – in 1940. Millerick went on to win training titles at Santa Anita, Del Mar and Hollywood Park and worked for many prestigious owners.

   Millerick achieved his greatest success with Native Diver, a California-bred son of Imbros, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978. Under Millerick’s uninterrupted care, Native Diver won 37 races, including 34 stakes, and raced for seven seasons. As an 8-year-old, Native Diver won his third consecutive Hollywood Gold Cup, set a track record in the Del Mar Handicap and won both the Los Angeles Handicap and San Carlos Handicap.

   Millerick, who earlier worked for Hall of Famer Tom Smith, won a total of 1,886 races and trained 54 individual stakes winners. Notable races won by Millerick horses include three runnings of the Bing Crosby Handicap, two editions of the Vanity Handicap and triumphs in the Del Mar Futurity, Hollywood Derby, Malibu Stakes, Milady Handicap and the Californian.

   Among the notable owners Millerick worked for included Charles S. Howard, John D. Hertz, Jack Dreyfus, Nelson Bunker Hunt and DeCourcy Graham. Along with Native Diver, Millerick’s top horses included Countess Fleet, Count of Honor, Fleet Nasrullah, George Lewis and Kissin’ George.

   At the time of his retirement in 1984, Millerick ranked second all-time in wins at Del Mar, fourth at Hollywood Park and fifth at Santa Anita.

   M.E. "Buster" Millerick was inducted in the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in 2010.