Roy H still sizzling with Sprint Championship win
By Art Wilson
@sham73 on Twitter
ARCADIA — It was redemption day for Roy H on Saturday at Santa Anita as the 5-year-old gelding remained as hot as the 98-degree temperature at the track.
Sitting third through the first half-mile of the $300,345 Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship, Roy H took the lead turning for home and sped to a one-length victory over 41-1 longshot Mr. Hinx as the 4-5 favorite under Kent Desormeaux for trainer Peter Miller.
It was Roy H’s fourth victory in five starts this year, the only loss coming in the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes on July 29 at Del Mar when he was carried six-wide into the stretch by Drefong, who had dumped Mike Smith at the start of the race.
“It was a little redemption today,” Miller said. “Hopefully we’ll get to see this horse again in a month at the Breeders’ Cup.”
Because Roy H could easily have won last time if not for the loose horse, Miller said he was confident going into the race. But he’s a veteran trainer, so he wasn’t overconfident.
“I know, like last time, that anything can happen in a horse race and it usually does,” he said. “I don’t relax until the official sign goes up.”
American Anthem, the 5-2 second choice, set the pace, carving out splits of 22.07 and 45.03 before Roy H moved up on the outside of the pacesetter and Mr. Hinx, second the whole way, and left them in his wake. Final time for the six furlongs was a very good 1:08.68 over a track that has been playing slow through the first six days of the autumn meet.
“I’ve been looking forward to this day for some time,” said Desormeaux, who won three races on the afternoon, including the early daily double. “He’s been a special horse […]