FAVORED RIVER BOYNE UP TO WIN GRADE II, $200,000 MATHIS BROTHERS MILE (TURF) AS PRAT & MULLINS TEAM FOR WIN IN
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2018)–Small in stature but a giant in terms of ability, Irish-bred River Boyne finished 2018 in style Wednesday at Santa Anita, as he annexed his fifth win of the year and ran his unbeaten streak at Santa Anita to six races, as came rolling late to take the Grade II, $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile (turf) by a head under Flavien Prat. Conditioned by Jeff Mullins, River Boyne negotiated one mile on turf in 1:34.52.
Seventh a quarter mile from home, Prat wheeled four-wide turning into the stretch and overhauled the Steve Asmussen-trained Combatant late while holding of the late surge of runner-up Desert Stone.
Most recently second to eastern invader Raging Bull in the Grade I Hollywood Derby going a mile and one eighth on turf at Del Mar Dec. 1, River Boyne was the 2-5 favorite in a field of 10 sophomores and paid $2.80, $2.20 and $2.20.
Owned by Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal, River Boyne provided the winning owners and trainer with their second turf stakes win of the day, as they teamed for victory earlier in the $75,000 Lady of Shamrock with English-bred Amandine.
In garnering his third graded stakes win of the year, River Boyne improved his overall mark to 14-7-3-1. With the winner’s share of $120,000, he increased his earnings to $691,718.
Ridden by Geovanni Franco and trained by Richard Baltas, Desert Stone rallied boldly from last to finish a half length in front of Combatant. Off at 10-1, Desert Stone paid $5.20 and $3.40.
With Jose Ortiz up, Combatant, in his first start on the West Coast, finished a half length in front of Fight On and paid $4.60 while off at 14-1.
Fractions on the race were 22.68, 46.14, 1:10.21 and 1:22.62.