LOUISVILLE, KY – Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen’s Roy H reaffirmed his sprint division supremacy after running off like a rocket down the stretch in Saturday’s Grade 1, $2,000,000 TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs.
Breaking from post 9 under Paco Lopez at 5/2 odds, Roy H hit the outer portion of his stall and bobbled slightly but soon recovered and sat in mid-pack early while Promises Fulfilled led through the opening 1/4-mile in :21.35. Running three-wide into the far turn, Roy H ranged up to collar the pacesetter and his Peter Miller stablemate Distinctive B (sandwiched between them), then emerged onto the front stretch full of run. Lopez snuck a peek to make sure he was safe, then kept his steed to task under steady urging while continuing to drive off down the stretch. Roy H’s 3 1/4-length triumph came in a final time of 1:08.24 for the 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
“I loved my position early,” Lopez said. “I let him go a little early and he started a big move. I knew they were going fast up front. I just had a really good ride from him.”
Whitmore overcame a slow break and split several foes in the stretch, getting second by 1 3/4 lengths over the 8/5 favorite Imperial Hint. Promises Fulfilled faded to fourth, well ahead of Limousine Liberal in fifth. B Squared, Distinctive B, Warrior’s Club, and Always Sunshine completed the order of finish.
Roy H’s win was his third of the year, including last out in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes, and improved his overall record to 22-9-5-2. The 6-year-old gelded son of More Than Ready eclipsed the $3 million mark in earnings after the $1.1 million winner’s share of the purse increased his lifetime bankroll to $3,019,765.
“He’s really training good and doing good,” said Miller, who also trains Stormy Liberal, repeat winner of the Turf Sprint earlier on the card. “I just can’t say enough about this horse. Paco Lopez gave him a great ride. Just unbelievable. I can’t believe it. Too good to be true.”
Roy H returned $7.40 to win, $4 to place, and $2.60 to show. Whitmore brought back $5.80 to place and $3.60 to show, while Imperial Hint paid $2.60 to show.