Distance Specialist Lone Rock Wins Temperence Hill 

April 4, 2022

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.– R.A. Hill Stable and Flying P Stable’s Lone Rock proved why he’s one of the best marathoners in the country by holding off the late charging Last Samurai to win Sunday’s $150,000 Temperence Hill Stakes by a neck. Last year, he finished second in the 1 ½-mile race and has since won seven of nine starts with only one of those victories coming at a distance less than 1 ½ miles. 

Lone Rock was close to the pace early and tracked his stablemate Goalie from second through opening fractions of :24 and :48 for the first half mile. The even-money favorite took control of the six-horse field after a mile in 1:38 4/5 and had just enough to hold off Last Samurai in a final time of 2:30 4/5 over fast track. Strong Tide was third. 

“That was a little hard on the nerves,” winning trainer Robertino Diodoro said. “I don’t think we were fair to him and it wasn’t the owners. I put all the blame on myself last time. The horse should have never run (in the Razorback) for a couple of reasons. One of the most important reasons was distance, especially as good as he’s been to us. I was really mad at myself. You don’t want him to get beat up a couple of times after last time, so it’s good to get him back in the winner’s circle.”

Lone Rock, a 7-year-old Majestic Warrior gelding, improved his record to 15-5-1 in 34 starts and has now earned $1,242,641. He paid $4.00, 3.00 and 2.20. 

Jockey Jon Court, second on Last Samurai: “I thought I had the momentum to get by him (Lone Rock) before we got to the wire, but he had a little extra there. I was hoping I would just go on by. But when I ran up to him, I could actually see the horse respond when he was aware I was right there. I thought I would be in front of him from the start, but he (Ramon Vazquez) was smart enough to put him on the front end and just dictate the pace.”

Live racing resumes Thursday, April 7 with a first post at 1 p.m.

Oaklawn Press Release
Photo of Lone Rock (pink silks) by Coady Photography

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