ARCADIA, CA (May 28, 2023)—In control on the lead throughout, John Sadler’s Kings River Knight powered to a 2 ¼ length win in Sunday’s first race at Santa Anita, the $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes. Ridden for the first time by Juan Hernandez, the 5-year-old gelding by Acclamation got one mile on turf in 1:34.55.
The Crystal Water is part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for California-bred or sired runners.
With Hernandez nurturing his natural speed on the front end to the far turn, Kings River Knight kicked into high gear turning for home and was widening on runner-up Coalinga Road at the wire, providing his connections with his first stakes win in career start number nine.
Most recently second, beaten a nose going 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course in the statebred Sensational Star Stakes March 19, Kings River Knight was off as the 4-5 favorite in a field of five California-bred 3-year-olds and up and paid $3.60, $2.20 and $2.10.
Bred by Old English Rancho and owned by Integrity Thoroughbred Racing, LLC, the Ellwood Johnston Trust and Kenneth Tevelde, Kings River Knight, who is out the Poteen mare Seasontoperfection, picked up $60,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $236,260 from an overall mark of 9-4-4-0.
Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Coalinga Road appeared poised to take on the winner at the top of the lane but was second best on the day, finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of Carmelita’s Man. Off at 2-1, Coalinga Road paid $2.80 and $2.10.
Carmelita’s Man trailed the winner by double digits while last heading to the far turn and rallied to be third, finishing three quarters of a length in front of Bang for Your Buck. Off at 9-1, he paid $3.00 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.58, 47.54, 1:11.28 and 1:22.97.