Riding the River Defends King Edward

Category : News - Tue 25/06/2013 - 14:58 EDT

Defending champ Riding the River dug in when he needed to and managed to overcome a strong challenge by rail-running Valentino Beauty and a late-rallying Hotep to claim the $200,000 Grade II TVG King Edward Stakes at Woodbine on Sunday, June 23, 2013. Riding the River stopped the clock at 1:33.2 for the head victory over one mile on a fast EP Taylor Turf course. The race was almost a mirror image of the six-year-old gelding’s by-a-neck victory in the 2012 event. The son of Wiseman’s Ferry was coming off a second-place finish in the Grade II Connaught Cup.

Kabel keeps favorite to the task

Sent off as the even-money favorite (after being a 13-1 longshot last year) Riding the River received a masterful ride from veteran jockey Todd Kabel. With an EP Taylor course that had most recently been favoring front-runners, Kabel hustled Riding the River out of the 2-post to race down the backstretch two lengths off the leaders, before angling into the three-path for the stretch drive. Afterward Kabel said his horse “hung a bit” after making the lead, but dug in when he caught sight of Valentino Beauty sneaking up the rail and would not be passed.

Runner-up shows signs of good things to come

With the win, the Dave Coty-trained Riding the River ups his record to nine wins from 22 starts, including three graded-stakes victories, and has now banked more than $800,000 in purse money. The race was also a positive step forward for the runner up, Valentino Beauty, under jockey Edgar Prado, as the lightly raced four-year-old improved on his fourth-place finish in the Connaught. He could be one to watch in the future, particularly in the July 21, 2013 Grade II Nijinsky Stakes, when he’ll get a chance to stretch out a bit to 1 1/8 miles.

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