DEL MAR, CA – Rockingham Ranch’s Roy H stalked through the backside before unleashing a big run down the stretch to take Saturday’s Grade 1, $1,500,000 TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Off tightly from post 8 under jockey Kent Desormeaux, Roy H tracked four-wide while Takaful and Imperial Hint traded off leading through splits of :21.82 and :44.61. Hooking up with Imperial Hint entering the stretch, Roy H broke clear with a furlong remaining and hit the wire first by a length in a final time of 1:08.61 for the 6-furlong main track event.
“He had to man-up the first 200 yards,” Desormeaux said. “I had to jockey for position, fighting for a spot two times in 200 yards. After that, he had the catbird seat. He raced off my fingertips and gave me a lovely ride.”
Imperial Hint held on gamely for second after losing the stretch run battle. Mind Your Biscuits started slowly and trailed but managed to get up late for third after swinging seven-wide in the far turn. American Pastime necked out Ransom the Moon for fourth. The race’s heavy favorite, Drefong, never factored after running mid-pack all race and finished sixth. Calculator, Whitmore, B Squared, and Takaful completed the order of finish.
The 5-year-old gelding out of More Than Ready finally found the winner’s circle for the first time at Del Mar. The Peter Miller trainee’s record now stands at 17-6-4-1 with career earnings of $1,359,765. It was Miller’s second career Breeders’ Cup win after taking the Turf Sprint earlier with Stormy Liberal.
“The race shaped up the way we thought it would,” Miller said. “We saw a lot of speed in there and we figured he could sit third or fourth and make his big run. He did it just the way we drew it up.”
Roy H returned $11.80 to win, $5 to place, and $3.60 to show. Imperial Hint brought back $5.20 to place and $4 to show, while Mind Your Biscuits paid $4.40 to show.