ARCADIA, CA – Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal’s River Boyne maintained his flawless local record by cruising to a relatively easy victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Rainbow Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking quickly from post 4 as the 2-5 favorite under leading rider Flavien Prat, River Boyne had to be reeled in early and eventually rode just outside of Blame the Rider‘s right hip through opening splits of :23.60, :47.90, and 1:12.52. Prat let out a notch in the reins while heading into the far turn, and that was all River Boyne needed to know that he was clear to go. Striding clear from his foe with ease at the 1/8 pole, the Jeff Mullins trainee continued carrying forth under a light hand ride to win by 2 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:49.18 for the 1 1/8-mile turf event.
“Down the backside, he settled, but the first part, he didn’t,” said Prat. “He broke a bit slow and I had a hard time trying to relax him. I was pretty comfortable the last part of the race, and he has a great turn of foot. That’s the thing with him, he has such a good turn of foot.”
Blame the Rider held on in the stretch to secure second over Arawak, with Respect the Hustle completing the order of finish. Move Over was scratched.
River Boyne’s win was his fourth straight at Santa Anita, including the $200,000 Pasadena Stakes in March, and improved his overall record to 9-4-2-0 with career earnings of $271,178. The Irish-bred 3-year-old son of Dandy Man, purchased for $97,358 last fall, was most recently fifth in the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes over a yielding Churchill Downs course on Kentucky Derby Day last month.
“The race didn’t set up perfect for him, because Flavien was fighting trying to keep him off that other horse (Blame the Rider),” said Mullins. “Three quarters of the way around there, he was fighting him… That was worrying me, because a lot of times you fight the race out of them, but he ran great. Flavien got him to relax and did a great job. He likes firm ground, that’s the main thing.”
River Boyne returned $2.80 to win, $2.10 to place, while Blame the Rider paid $3.20 to place. There was no show betting.