ARCADIA, CA – Rockingham Ranch and David Bernse’s Roy H returned to the track in what was essentially a paid workout, breezing home for fun in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Palos Verdes Stakes at Santa Anita.
Breaking well from the rail under Kent Desormeaux, Roy H sat off initially while his trio of competitors formed a wall in front of him heading into the far turn. The wall began showing cracks heading into the far turn when Mongolian Saturday gave way, at which point Roy H effortlessly galloped to the outside and cruised past the remaining two as if they were standing still. Remaining under a tight hold, the Peter Miller trainee took off briefly before Desormeaux reined him down to a jog in the final 1/16, yet still winning by 3 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:09.68 for the 6-furlong main track sprint.
“He did it very easy,” Desormeaux said. “Pete told me to let the other horses go today and let this guy finish up the last 1/2-mile. It made my job easy. He’s a super horse. I wanna say, he’s the best sprinter I’ve ever ridden.”
Americanize held onto second by a length past Red Lightning, with Mongolian Saturday bringing up the rear. Roy H’s stablemate, Bobby Abu Dhabi, was scratched.
Crowned the 2017 Eclipse Award for Male Sprinter, the Palos Verdes was Roy H’s first race since winning the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Del Mar in early November. The 6-year-old gelded son of More Than Ready now has a record of 18-7-4-1 with earnings of $1,479,765 and hasn’t finished off the board since July 30, 2016.
“It was our first race of the year; we didn’t want to change his style,” Miller said. “$200,000 is a big race, but it’s not the biggest race we’re going to run in this year. Kent did a great job of just letting him settle and moving around there at will. 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 the chance.”
Roy H returned $2.40 to win and $2.10 to place, while Americanize paid $2.10 to place. There was no show betting.