Roy H demonstrated why he will receive a second Eclipse Award this week with a four-length demolition of the Palos Verdes Stakes Gr.2 at Santa Anita on Saturday.
The Champion son of More Than Ready was in cruise-control first-up since a second Breeders’ Cup Sprint Gr.1 crown at Churchill Downs in November. He tracked stablemate Conquest Tsunami and then drew off under double-wraps clocking 1.08.89s for 1200m.
His connections will take centre-stage again this Thursday when the 2018 Eclipse Awards are held at Gulfstream Park Casino in Florida. “He’s a thing of beauty,” trainer Pete Miller exclaimed. “He’s a pro’s pro. Nothing bothers him. He’s an unbelievable horse.”
Roy H went out a prohibitive $1.20 favourite to defend his Palos Verdes crown and he delivered in kind for owners Gary Hartunian and David Bernsen. “I gotta start working out with Roy because he’s running circles around all of us,” Hartunian said. “He might go down as one of our better sprinters ever.”
A $310,000 buy at the 2014 Keeneland 2YO Sale, he has won 10 times in 23 starts for $3.14 million in prizemoney. “He’s a machine…I had a whole lotta horse the whole way,” jockey Paco Lopez said. “He’s a bullet and definitely ran as good today as he did in the Breeders’ Cup.”
Texan philanthropist Ramona Bass bred him by using Vinery legend More Than Ready over Hollywood Park Railbird Stakes Gr.3 winner Elusive Diva (Elusive Quality).
A second excursion to Meydan for the Golden Shaheen Gr.1 on March 30 is the next assignment for Roy H following the Eclipse Awards. He didn’t handle the travel last year when third to Mind Your Biscuits.
Bookmakers have installed him the opening $2.50 favourite this year ahead of Imperial Hint ($4.50) who he beat by five lengths in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. “We’re gonna try Dubai again,” Miller said. “Hopefully, we can get it right this time.”