Acclamation’s Kings River Knight Best in the E. B. Johnston S.

                                                                          Kings River Knight winning the $75,000 E.B. Johnston Stakes.                                                        Benoit Photo

It is all together fitting and proper that Kings River Knight returned to the winner’s circle after the $75,000 E. B. Johnston Stakes at Los Alamitos. The 5-year-old Acclamation gelding represents multiple generations of the historic California breeding program of Old English Rancho top and bottom that were established and carried on by the family of the race’ss namesake, fondly remembered by many as “The Pie Man.”

Kings River Knight lined-up against five other California-breds for the one-mile dirt contest. Tracking the pacesetter from the outside, he picked him up going into the far turn and gained the lead. A new threat emerged for the stretch drive, but he fought back gamely and opened up in the final sixteenth to win by two lengths.

“I told (Hernandez) to go out there with the intent to go to the lead, but if somebody wants to go crazy, let them and settle him nicely,’’ said  Juan Leyva, assistant to winning trainer John Sadler. “That’s what he did. Juan rode a very good race. “This is a really cool horse. He loves his job and he shows up every time.’’

Kings River Knight is emulating his champion sire as a stakes winner on both dirt and turf. A model of consistency, he has finished first or second in eleven of his twelve career starts and he has earned $366,010 for the partnership of Integrity Thoroughbred Racing, LLC, The Ellwood Johnston Trust, and Kenneth A. Tevelde. He is out of the Poteen mare, Seasontoperfection. She foaled a full sister to Kings River Knight this season and she has a yearling colt by Vronsky,