ARCADIA, CA – Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal’s River Boyne made it three straight over the Santa Anita turf while also scoring his first stakes victory in winning Saturday’s $200,000 Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita.
Breaking a tad timidly from post 3 as the 7/5 favorite under Joel Rosario, River Boyne settled off the pace early while Afleet Ascent led through opening splits of :23.54, :47.04, and 1:11.59. Commencing his move through the far turn, River Boyne emerged at the top of the stretch three-wide and was soon four-wide while set down for the drive. At the same time, Inscom found an opening along the rail and darted through to take the lead and seemed headed for glory, but River Boyne collared him in deep stretch and used his momentum to drive past. The Jeff Mullins trainee hit the wire first by a length in a final time of 1:35.92 for the mile-long event over a turf course rated good.
“He was very kind, he broke well,” Rosario said. “I asked him a little bit because he got off a little slow, but he got going right away. He just took me after that. He’s a nice horse.”
A close examination of the photo at the wire was needed to break apart the four-way finish for third. Necks separated La La Land in third, Buckstopper Kit in fourth, Heck Yeah in fifth, and Afleet Ascent in sixth. Platinum Equity faded after completing 6 furlongs to complete the order of finish.
River Boyne improved his American race record to 4-3-1-0 after posting a 3-0-1-0 record overseas last year. The 4-year-old Irish-born son of Dandy Man now has career earnings of $203,528. His $120,000 share of the Pasadena purse more than repaid his owners, who purchased him at auction last fall for $97,358.
Rosario almost didn’t make the race. After training horses early this morning in Florida, he flew to southern California with the intention of riding in seven of the day’s 10 races. However, delays in Florida and traffic in Los Angeles caused him to miss the first four mounts, and he nearly missed this one, as well.
“Joel kind of rode him the way he appeared to arrive,” Mullins said. “He didn’t get here until about 15, 20 minutes before post time. I just asked him if he watched any replays (of River Boyne’s races). He said, ‘Yeah,’ and I said, ‘You know enough.'”
River Boyne returned $4.80 to win, $3 to place, and $2.20 to show. Inscom brought back $3.60 to place and $2.80 to show, while La La Land paid $3.40 to show.