May 25, 2019

Roy H easily repeats in TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint

Roy H sails home at Churchill Downs under jockey Paco Lopez for his second straight Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) on November 3, 2018 (c) Cecilia Gustavsson/Horsephotos.com

Roy H launched his move on the far turn and powered away from the competition into the stretch, winning the $2 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) for the second straight year. Pace Lopez was up for Peter Miller and Roy H completed the six-furlong distance in 1:08.24 at Churchill Downs.

“I just can’t say enough about the horse,” Miller said. “Paco Lopez gave him a great ride. Just unbelievable. I can’t believe it. Too good to be true.”

Campaigned by Rockingham Ranch and David A. Bernsen, the six-year-old gelding settled in fourth behind a scolding pace set by Promises Fulfilled, who flew through an opening quarter-mile in :21.35. Roy H rolled past the pacesetter nearing the completion of the far turn, reaching the half-mile mark in :44.21 with a half-length advantage, and drew off through the lane to score by 3 1/4 lengths.

“I loved my position early,” Lopez said. “I let him go a little early and he started a big move. I knew they were going fast up front. I just had a really good ride from him.”

Off as the 5-2 second choice in the nine-horse field, Roy H locked up his second straight Eclipse Award for champion sprinter with the convincing decision. He pocketed his sixth stakes victory, winning the Palos Verdes (G2) and October 6 Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) earlier this season, and increased his bankroll to $1,877,925 from a 22-9-5-2 record.

Whitmore walked out of the starting gate but rallied well to be a clear second at 6-1, 1 ¾ lengths better than 8-5 favorite Imperial Hint in third. Promises Fulfilled held on to complete the superfecta.

Bred in Kentucky by Ramona S. Bass, Roy H hails from the multiple Grade 3-winning mare Elusive Diva, a daughter of Elusive Quality.