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.
Players trying to look beyond prohibitive favorite Tepin in the September 17 Woodbine Mile will surely have their work cut out for them as the superstar mare tackles seven rivals on the grass.
The second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown goes Tuesday night from Fort Erie race track, where Sir Dudley Digges will try to take another step toward Canadian racing history.
On Sunday, Woodbine will host the $1 million Queen’s Plate Stakes, Canada’s most prestigious race. Restricted to horses foaled in Canada, the classic mile and a quarter contest has drawn a field of thirteen three-year-olds.
A spectacular card of graded stakes action has been assembled for Saturday at Belmont Park and the $1 million Ogden Phipps is shaping up to be one of the most competitive races of the day. The Grade 1 event for fillies and mares will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth.