Eclipse Champion Sprinter Roy H showed up Saturday at Santa Anita. “He never left,” exclaimed his jockey, Kent Desormeaux. In his first start of the year, the 6-year-old More Than Ready gelding bided his time and came away with a seemingly effortless 3 1/2-length score in the Grade II, $200,000 Palos Verdes Stakes. Conditioned by Peter Miller, Roy H got six furlongs in 1:09.68.
Breaking from the rail in a field of four older horses, Roy H was in-hand while last, about three lengths off of three dueling leaders, was taken three-wide turning for home and opened up under a hand ride and was geared down at the wire.
“He did it very easy,” said Desormeaux, who was also aboard for Grade I wins in his last two starts, the Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 7 and the Breeders' Cup Sprint Nov. 4. “Pete told me to let the other horses go today and let this guy finish up the last half mile.
“It made my job easy. He's a super horse. I wanna say, he's the best sprinter I've ever ridden.”
Owned by Rockingham Ranch and David A. Bernsen, LLC. Roy H was off at 1-5 and with no show wagering, paid $2.40 and $2.10.
The Palos Verdes victory improved his overall mark to 18-7-4-1 and with the winner's check of $120,000, he increased his earnings to $1,479,765.
“Kent did a great job of just letting him settle and move around there at will,” said Miller. “I just have to give Kent a lot of credit, and my assistant, Ruben Alvarado, who's done a super job with this horse at Santa Anita, and Rockingham Ranch for giving me a chance.
“The horse has been a model of consistency. I don't think I've ever had a horse put in seven top races in a row like he has against top quality horses. He's certainly the best sprinter I've ever trained.”
(Miller indicated that the Grade I, $400,000 Triple Bend Stakes going seven furlongs on March 10 at Santa Anita would likely be next for Roy H).
Americanize, who was head and head for the early lead with both Red Lightning and Mongolian Saturday, finished 1 ¼ lengths in front of “Red” and paid $2.10 to place as the second choice at 7-2.
Ridden by Tyler Conner, Red Lightning finished 5 ½ lengths clear of Mongolian Saturday.
Fractions on the race were 22.06, 45.15 and 57.04.
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