CLASSY RIVER BOYNE RALLIES TO TAKE GRADE III, $100,000 THUNDER ROAD STAKES BY 2 ½ WIDENING LENGTHS UNDER CEDILLO; TRAINED BY MULLINS, HE GETS MILE ON TURF IN 1:33.78
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2020)–Attentive to the pace today, Irish-bred River Boyne split horses turning for home and overhauled pacesetter Kingly in mid-stretch en route to a dazzling 2 ½ length score in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Abel Cedillo and trained by Jeff Mullins, 5-year-old River Boyne got one mile on turf in 1:33.78.
“He’s a game horse,” said Mullins, who has now won eight of 20 starts with River Boyne, including three graded stakes. “Since he turned four, things have been a bit tougher for him, he’s had some troubled trips. He needed this…He got it done. We got a little class relief today and I’ve been lucky with this jock. He’s ridden three horses for me and we’ve won all three.
“He’s not the kind of horse to run off. He needed to be in contention and not give him a lot to do. Today, Abel had him sitting in a good spot and it looked like he had a lot of energy, so when he split horses, he got it done.”
Most recently third in an ungraded one mile turf stakes at Turf Paradise Jan. 11, River Boyne, who was winless in his last eight starts, was off at 9-2 in a field of nine older horses and paid $11.60, $6.60 and $3.60.
“We were able to split horses there turning for home and we got lucky,” said Cedillo. “The horse to my outside (eventual last place finisher Take the One O One) was tired and he drifted (out) a little and we got through. Jeff told me to warm him up good and put him close to the lead and he was pulling the whole way.”
Owned by Red Baron’s Barn, LLC and Rancho Temescal, LLC, River Boyne picked up $60,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $971,918. In notching his fifth stakes win, he’s now 23-8-5-4 overall.
The longest shot in the field, Camino Del Paraiso flew late at the rail to finish second by a nose over True Valour. Ridden by Tiago Pereira, Camino Del Paraiso, off at 50-1, paid $33.80 and $13.40.
Irish-bred True Valour, who was part of a five-horse blanket finish for the minors, was third by a nose in front of Kingly and paid $4.60 to show with Andrea Atzeni up.
Fractions on the race were 23.06, 46.73, 1:10.30 and 1:22.12.