In season debut, River Boyne the one to beat in Thunder Road Stakes

In season debut, River Boyne the one to beat in Thunder Road Stakes
Photo: Benoit

A perfect 6-for-6 on the Santa Anita turf, trainer Jeff Mullins' River Boyne looms a total standout in Saturday’s Grade 3, $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 2 Mathis Brother Mile 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 1 Hollywood Derby on Dec. 1 — a race in which River Boyne was beaten by a half length.



Owner: Red Baron’s Barn, LLC & Rancho Temescal                                    
Trainer: Jeff Mullins


A gem of consistency for his connections in 11 stateside starts, River Boyne has won seven 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: Pozo de Luna, Inc.                                                        
Trainer: Ron McAnally


Second, beaten a half length in a one-mile turf classified allowance on Jan. 13, this 6-year-old Argentine-bred will be making his fifth start for the 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: Qatar Racing, Limited                                                
Trainer: Simon Callaghan


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 2 Eddie Read Stakes three starts back at Del Mar, where he was only beaten 3 ½ lengths at odds of 8-1. A Group 3 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.  

Race 7 of 11 (approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT)

1. River Boyne—Flavien Prat—124

2. Ohio—Ruben Fuentes—120

3. Le Ken—Tyler Baze—120

4. Desert Stone—Joel Rosario—120

5. True Valour—Andrea Atzeni—120

6. Blackjackcat—Mike Smith--120

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