ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 31, 2018)–Recently crowned America’s Eclipse Award-winning Champion Sprinter for 2017, trainer Peter Miller’s Roy H looms a complete standout as he seeks his third consecutive win in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Palos Verdes Stakes going six furlongs at Santa Anita. To be run for the 66th time, the Palos Verdes has attracted a field of five older horses.
But for a second place finish as the 8-5 favorite in the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes three starts back on July 29, Roy H would be riding a six-game winning streak, as he has won a pair of Grade I’s in his last two starts, the Santa Anita Sprint Championship Oct. 7 and the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 4.
Owner: Rockingham Ranch and David A. Bernsen, LLC Trainer: Peter Miller
Idle since taking the Breeders’ Cup Sprint by a comfortable length, Roy H has been in steady training at Santa Anita with Miller’s assistant, Ruben Alvarado. A 6-year-old More Than Ready gelding, Roy H won five out of his six starts last year while amassing earnings of $1,270,900–nearly all of his career bankroll of $1,359,765. With Kent Desormeaux set to ride for the third consecutive race, all systems appear to be “Go” as Miller and co-owner Bernsen bid for their second consecutive Palos Verdes victory.
Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc. Trainer: Simon Callaghan
Quick from the gate, this 5-year-old gelding by Concord Point was third, beaten a neck by talented Silent Bird as the even money favorite in the Grade III Midnight Lute Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs and must be respected. Fourth, beaten 9 ¼ lengths in an ill-advised start in the Grade I Cigar Mile (one turn) at Aqueduct two starts back on Dec. 2, Americanize is back in his comfort zone and with his consistency and recency, qualifies as the second choice here. Bred in Kentucky by Shah, Americanize is 11-3-5-1 overall with earnings of $285,045.
BOBBY ABU DHABI
Owner: Rockingham Ranch Trainer: Peter Miller
The “Other Miller” on Saturday, this lightly raced colt by Macho Uno comes off the best race of his career, a 1 ¾ length allowance win going six furlong here on Dec. 31–a race in which he earned a career-top Beyer Speed figure of 95. Currently based with Miler at Del Mar, the New Year’s Eve score was his first start in nearly 7 ½ months and was also his first afternoon pairing with Victor Espinoza, who rides him back in the Palos Verdes.
THE GRADE II PALOS VERDES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 3 of 9 Approximate post time 1:30 p.m. PT
- Roy H–Kent Desormeaux–124
- Bobby Abu Dhabi–Victor Espinoza–120
- Americanize–Rafael Bejarano–120
- Mongolian Saturday–Flavien Prat–120
- Red Lightning–Tyler Conner–120
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.