SA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP IS A BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE RACE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 7, 2017)–Wheeled three-wide turning for home under a confident Kent Desormeaux, favored Roy H went on to an impressive one length win in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship. Owned by Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch and David Bernson, Roy H is conditioned by Peter Miller and got six furlongs in 1:08.68, thus stamping himself as a horse to be reckoned with in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 4.
“This was very rewarding,” said Miller, who sent Roy H out to a second place finish as the favorite in the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes July 29. “We thought he was the best horse in the Bing Crosby. It was racing luck that day. I’ve had so many bad beats in my life and I’m just glad that today wasn’t another one of those…He’s always had this ability. As a younger horse he just never seemed to put it together…Hopefully we get to see this horse again in the Breeders’ Cup.”
Off at 4-5 in a field of six 3-year-olds and up, Roy H, who earned a career-top Beyer Speed figure of 111 in winning the Grade II, six furlong True North Stakes at Belmont Park on June 17, paid $3.80, $3.00 and $2.20.
“I’ve been looking forward to this day for some time,” said Desormeaux, who rode Roy H for the first time today. “He’s fast. He probably broke a half length behind the leaders and I had him in absolute reserve all the way…He was really full of run. He had been ‘touting’ himself in the mornings so I really couldn’t wait to ride him.”
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by More Than Ready, Roy H notched his second stakes win and his fifth overall victory from 16 starts. With the winner’s share of $180,000, he increased his earnings to $534,765.
The longest shot in the field with Drayden Van Dyke at 41-1, Mr. Hinx proved second best, out-finishing American Anthem by 2 ¼ lengths for the place. Trained by Steve Miyadi, Mr. Hinx paid $17.40 and $5.80.
Third by 2 ¼ lengths with no apparent excuses on the early lead, American Anthem, ridden by Mike Smith, paid $2.80 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.07, 45.03 and 56.78.