A perfect six for six on the Santa Anita Park turf, trainer Jeff Mullins' River Boyne looms a total standout in Saturday's Grade III, $100,000 Thunder Road Stakes, which has attracted a field of six older horses at one mile on turf.
A head winner of the Grade II Mathis Brother Mile (turf) here on Dec. 26, this 4-year-old Irish-bred colt made the lead in deep stretch only to be collared late by highly regarded eastern shipper Raging Bull two starts back in the Grade I, 1 1/8 miles Hollywood Derby Dec. 1-a race in which River Boyne was beaten by a half length.
2019 Thunder Road Stakes Odds & Entries
Race 7 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:39 PM
|1||River Boyne (IRE)||8-5||Flavien Prat
|2||Ohio (BRZ)||5-2||Ruben Fuentes
|3||Le Ken (ARG)||10-1||Tyler Baze
|4||Desert Stone (IRE)||3-1||Joel Rosario
|5||True Valour (IRE)||8-1||Andrea Atzeni
A gem of consistency for his connections in 11 stateside starts, River Boyne has won races under Mullins' care, three of them graded stakes. With three wins and a second from four tries at a mile on turf, it would appear conditions are to order for River Boyne, who will again be handled by leading man Flavien Prat.
With an overall race record stands of 14-7-3-1, River Boyne is by far the leading money earner in the field with $691,718.
Owner: Red Baron's Barn, LLC & Rancho Temescal | Trainer: Jeff Mullins
Second, beaten a half length in a one mile turf classified allowance Jan. 13, this 6-year-old Argentine-bred will be making his fifth start for Hall of Famer McAnally, who simply does not have the ammunition he did in years past. Le Ken will again be ridden by Tyler Baze, who will be aboard for the fifth time, including the last two in a row.
Owner: Pozo de Luna, Inc. | Trainer: Ron McAnally
Third, beaten a half length by Le Ken on Jan. 13, this 5-year-old Irish-bred made his U.S. debut in the Grade II Eddie Read Stakes three starts back at Del Mar, a race in which he was only beaten 3 ½ lengths at odds of 8-1.
A Group III winner going seven furlongs on turf four starts back in his native Ireland, True Valor is 6-1-1-2 lifetime at one mile on turf and figures to get a stalking trip on Saturday.
Owner: Qatar Racing, Limited | Trainer: Simon Callaghan
Hard-hitting veteran Blackjackcat makes his first start for Jerry Hollendorfer Saturday in the Grade III Thunder Road Stakes for older horses at one mile on turf after campaigning in his previous 20 starts for trainer Mark Glatt.
"He's doing real well," Hollendorfer said of the six-year-old Tale of the Cat gelding owned and bred by Al and Sandee Kirkwood. "We'll see how he does."
Blackjackcat was fifth in last year's Thunder Road after a wide trip as the even-money favorite. He has six wins and five thirds, with earnings of $590,365.
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer