Classy 6-Year-Old Gelding Kings River Knight Deals All The Cards & Takes The $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic
CLASSY 6-YEAR-OLD GELDING KINGS RIVER KNIGHT DEALS ALL THE CARDS & TAKES THE $200,000 UNUSUAL HEAT TURF CLASSIC BY ONE HALF LENGTH
PRESENTED BY CITY NATIONAL BANK, RACE IS PART OF THE CTBA-SPONSORED GOLDEN STATE SERIES
ARCADIA, CA (Jan. 13, 2024)—Bred in California by Old English Rancho and the epitome of a versatile Cal-bred, John Sadler’s Kings River Knight was in command throughout as he went gate to wire under Juan Hernandez to take Saturday’s $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic presented by City National Bank by a half length while getting a mile and one eighth over the Santa Anita turf in 1:48.02. Never better at age six, the bay gelding by Acclamation notched his fifth career stakes win and got his third win in a row dating back to Sept. 16 at Los Alamitos.
The Unusual Heat Turf Classic is part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for registered California-bred or sired horses.
Pressed to the top of the lane by longshot Passarando, who was ridden by Frankie Dettori, Kings River Knight then had to fend off stiff challenges from late runners Carmelita’s Man and Aligato who were steadily gaining late.
Fourth, beaten a length in the Turf Classic a year ago when trained by Golden Gate Fields-based Andy Mathis, Kings River Knight, who is now five for seven since relocating to Southern California with Sadler, was last seen on Oct. 15 at Santa Anita, winning the California Flag Handicap at about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course.
The even money favorite today in a field of 10 older horses, Kings River Knight paid $4.20, $2.80 and $2.20.
Owned by Integrity Thoroughbred Racing, LLC, the Ellwood Johnston Trust and Kenneth Tevelde, Kings River Knight is out of the Poteen mare Seasontoperfection. With today’s winner’s share of $110,000, he increased his earnings to $536,010 while running his overall race record to 14-8-5-0.
Patiently handled by Tiago Pereira, the Dean Pederson-trained Carmelita’s Man was mid-pack and into the bridle heading to the far turn, made a solid run through the stretch and ran out of real estate on the money while managing to just hold off Aligato by a nose.
Off at 11-1, Carmelita’s Man paid $7.60 and $4.60.
Trained by Mark Glatt, Aligato rallied wide to finish third at 4-1 under Flavien Prat, returning $2.60 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.59, 47.67, 1:12.21 and 1:36.36.