Roy H Wins Twinspires Breeders’ Cup Sprint
Roy H © Eclipse Sportswire
DEL MAR, Calif. (Nov. 4, 2017) – Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen’s Roy H ($11.80) took over in deep stretch from Imperial Hint and went on to a one-length victory in the 34th running of the $1.5 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon at Del Mar racetrack.
Trained by Peter Miller and ridden by Kent Desormeax, Roy H covered the six furlongs on a fast main track in 1:08.61. It was the second victory of the day for Rockingham and Miller, who took the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint with Stormy Liberal.
Roy H is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of More Than Ready and Saturday’s victory was his second consecutive Grade 1 triumph.
The victory was the sixth for Desormeaux in the Breeders’ Cup and second in the Sprint, a race he won in 1995 on Desert Stormer at Belmont Park.
Imperial Hint finished two lengths in front of late-closing Mind Your Biscuits. Defending champion and favorite Drefong was sixth in the field of 10.
Winning trainer Peter Miller (Roy H) – “This is amazing. Two Breeders’ Cup wins in one day. The race shaped up the way we thought it would. 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.”
Winning jockey Kent Desormeaux (Roy H) – “He had to man-up the first 200 yards. 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. Absolutely exploded turning for home. He was full of run. We were running from the quarter pole to the eighth pole. We took off. I mean we exploded and couldn’t catch the leader for at least 200 yards. Once Roy gained the ascendency, he steadily opened up. I looked at the Jumbotron and the next guys were five behind us, so I was safe with the win.”
Second-place trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. (Imperial Hint) – "He came so close. He ran great. it was a great race, and it was a very tough race. I am so proud of my horse."
Second-place jockey Javier Castellano (Imperial Hint) – “I'm not disappointed in the way he ran at all. He ran a great race. He kept running all the way to the end. He just got beat.”
Third-place trainer Chad Summers (Mind Your Biscuits) – "I was proud of him. We were concerned when we came here that the stretch was short. It got to us today. We were a little bit further back than I was hoping. I wanted to be a little bit closer and be in it a little bit earlier. But he came with his run like he always does. We knew the Forego was a bit of a fluke. I think he showed up today and made us proud. We're disappointed but there's always next year and the Breeders' Cup at Churchill with a little bit longer stretch."
Third-place jockey Joel Rosario (Mind Your Biscuits) – “He ran a big race. They just kind of got away from me from there. I wanted to be a little closer but that’s the way he is. He put in a nice run. The horses in front never came back.”
Trainer Bob Baffert (Drefong, sixth as favorite) – "I knew in the first 100 yards it was over when he couldn't make the lead. What I was afraid would happen, happened. He's been good to us and I really can't complain. I knew the inside post would be tough on him and I could tell when he went across the gap there that Mike (Smith) was a little hesitant with him. You need racing luck. You need a good horse, but you need racing luck. It wasn't his day. This horse doesn't owe us anything. He's been great to us. I can't complain."
Jockey Mike Smith (Drefong, sixth as favorite) – “He didn’t get away (from the gate) really running. I looked up and the saw the gap in front of me and by the time I closed it, it was pretty much over.”