ARCADIA, CA – Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal’s River Boyne seemd to regain the form from his 3-year-old season when he split horses in the stretch to win Saturday’s $100,000 Thunder Road Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking from post 6 under Abel Cedillo at 9/2 odds, River Boyne set a close stalking trip heading into the clubhouse turn. Kingly broke alertly from post 10 and crossed over safely to take the early lead, posting fractions of :23.06, :46.73, and 1:10.30.
Still in hand as he rounded the far turn, Cedillo tipped River Boyne out two-wide to go on the attack, splitting between Take the One O One to his outside and Kingly. Ranging up to take command at the 1/8 pole, River Boyne cleared away late for his first victory in over a year.
The Jeff Mullins trainee finished 2 1/2 lengths the best in a final time of 1:33.78 for the mile-long event over the firm turf course.
“We were able to split horses there turning for home and we got lucky,” Cedillo said. “The horse to my outside was tired and he drifted (out) a little and we got through. Jeff told me to warm him up good and put him close to the lead and he was pulling the whole way.”
The 50/1 longest shot Camino Del Paraiso rallied four-wide in the stretch to get up for second in a five-horse photo finish. True Valour was third, Kingly was edged back to fourth, the 5/2 favorite Frontier Market was fifth, and Majestic Eagle sixth.
Ronald R, The Hunted, and a spent Take the One O One. Mugaritz was a veterinarian scratch.
River Boyne’s win was his first since taking the Mathis Brothers Mile Stakes (G2) at the end of 2018 and improved his overall record to 23-8-5-4. The Irish-bred 5-year-old son of Dandy Man has now earned $971,918
“He’s a game horse,” Mullins said. “Since he turned four, things have been a bit tougher for him. He’s had some troubled trips. He needed this. I just told Abel, get him up close and just save ground. See if you can split horses at the top of the stretch. He got it done. We got a little class relief today and I’ve been lucky with this jock. He’s ridden three horses for me and we’ve won all three.”
River Boyne returned $11.60 to win, $6.60 to place, and $3.60 to show. Camino Del Paraiso brought back $3.80 to place and $13.40 to show, while True Valour paid $4.60 to show.