ROY H SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDS TITLE IN
$2 MILLION TWINSPIRES BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2018) – Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen’s Roy H ($7.40) swept past front-running Promises Fulfilled at the top of the stretch and cruised to a 3 1/4-length victory over a rallying Whitmore to win the 35th running of the $2 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Peter Miller and ridden by Paco Lopez, Roy H covered the six furlongs on a fast main track in 1:08.24. The victory is the first in the World Championships for Lopez and fourth for Miller, who earlier in the program repeated in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint with Stormy Liberal.
A one-length winner of this race last year at Del Mar, Roy H joins Midnight Lute (2007-08) as the only repeat winner of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Miller is the first trainer to saddle back-to-back winners of the same two races in Breeders’ Cup history.
A 6-year-old Kentucky-bred son of More Than Ready out of the Elusive Quality mare Elusive Diva, Roy H has won four Grade 1 races.
Promises Fulfilled rocketed to the lead with an opening quarter-mile in :21.35 with Roy H racing third and in the clear on the outside. By the time the field reached the top of the stretch in :44.21, Roy H had swept past Promises Fulfilled and stablemate Distinctive B and quickly drew clear.
Whitmore closed from last place early to get second by 1 ¾ lengths over favored Imperial Hint with Promises Fulfilled finishing another three-quarters of a length back.
Winning trainer Peter Miller (Roy H) – “He’s really training good and doing good. I just can’t say enough about this horse. Paco Lopez gave him a great ride. Just unbelievable. I can’t believe it. Too good to be true.”
On the repeat win by Roy H in the Sprint. “Words don’t express how special this is – to win the same race with the same horse back to back. It’s just fantastic.”
Winning jockey Paco Lopez (Roy H) – “I loved my position early. 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.”
Second-place trainer Ron Moquett (Whitmore) – “It was a good race, fast horses. He did everything I asked him to do. I thought the jock rode him great and I am proud. The winner is a fast horse and today was his day.”
Second-place jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. (Whitmore) – “My horse settled in the back easily and when I asked him for run on the far turn, he responded nicely. I thought I had a chance to catch the winner in the stretch, but he still ran a good race. I was very happy with his effort.”
Third-place trainer Luis Carvajal (Imperial Hint, favorite) – “The horse ran a magnificent race. Before we had a doubt if he liked the track or not. He seemed like he handled it well in the morning. Javier (Castellano) said he was trying, but when he asked him to run, he was spinning wheels. He ran well and I’m proud of him, but it seems like he doesn’t handle Churchill Downs’ track very well.”
Third-place jockey Javier Castellano (Imperial Hint, favorite) — “He’s the kind of horse that can go to the lead, but today there was a lot of speed, so I took him off the pace. He didn’t give me his kick today. He ran twice before on this track and didn’t like it. He proved today that he doesn’t like this track.”
Fourth-place trainer Dale Romans (Promises Fulfilled) – “Fast race and fast horses. The top five are super horses. (Promises Fulfilled) ran hard, ran his eyeballs out. The fractions weren’t too fast, it is just the others were faster than him at the end. He did everything right. It will be nice to see him next year as a 4-year-old to see what he can do. He has done nothing but improve. He is a sound horse and he is a May foal. He is only going to get bigger and better. He could be sprint champion next year.”