ARCADIA, CA – True Valour‘s late stretch run was enough to pick up the win in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita Park. This was the first win in the US for the 4-year-old Irish-Bred son of Kodiac who made his first start here in July of 2017.
Blackjackcat broke well from the outside and went straight to the front to join Le Ken on the lead. The post-time favorite, River Boyne, sat on the rail behind the leaders in third and Ohio was close in fourth. Blackjackcat and Le Ken set together set fractions of :23.94, :48.52, and 1:12.89 while dueling for the lead. As they hit the top of the stretch, Blackjackcat quickly faded to the rear. River Boyne looked ready to go at the top of the stretch but got caught behind horses, angled wide, and ran out of space finishing fourth. Ohio and Le Ken were neck and neck into the stretch but it was True Valour who got up on the outside to finish 1/2 lengths ahead of Ohio in second. Le Ken finished third.
“True Valour ran well in his last race, maybe a bit too close to the pace is all,” said jockey Andrea Atzeni. “Today, I just wanted to give him a chance, keep him to the outside. He jumped ok but I didn’t want to be too close to the pace… He picked up when I picked my stick up and was always good enough to win.”
This was the first career win at Santa Anita for jockey Andrea Atzeni.
True Valour is trained by Simon Callaghan and owned by Qatar Racing. This was the second stakes win of the day today for Callaghan who also won the G2 Las Virgenes earlier in the day with the speedy Bellafina.
True Valour returned $25.00 to win, $10.00 to place, and $9.20 to show. Ohio brought back $6.80 to place and $6.20 to show, while Le Ken paid $9.20 to show.