Kings River Knight wins an allowance optional claimer at Del Mar Sep. 3, 2022 (Benoit Photo)
Santa Anita Press Box
ARCADIA, Calif.— John Sadler’s Kings River Knight rates a slight edge in Sunday’s $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes at Santa Anita as a field of six 3-year-olds and up compete at one mile on turf.
The Crystal Water, named for Mrs. Connie Ring’s magnificent California-bred colt by Windy Sands who won both the Santa Anita Handicap and the Hollywood Gold Cup in 1977, is part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for eligible California-bred or sired horses.
Second, beaten a nose by top Cal-bred The Chosen Vron going about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf in the Sensational Star Stakes March 19, Kings River Knight, a 5-year-old gelding by Acclamation, returns to a trip at which he is unbeaten in two starts.
A close fourth going a mile and one eighth on turf two starts back in the California Cup Classic here Jan. 7, Kings River Knight, favored in four of his eight starts, should be plenty tough with Juan Hernandez aboard for the first time.
Bred by Old English Rancho and owned by the Ellwood Johnston Trust, Integrity Thoroughbred Racing, LLC and Kenneth Tevelde, Kings River Knight, who seeks his first stakes victory, is 8-3-4-0 with earnings of $176,260.
Trainer Peter Miller will be well represented by both None Above the Law, a 5-year-old gelding by Karakontie and by venerable Indian Peak, a 6-year-old Comic Strip gelding who has won two stakes and will be making his 31st career start on Sunday.
Owned by Downstream Racing, LLC, None Above the Law, idle since Nov. 19 at Del Mar, won the Grade II Del Mar Derby in September, 2021, has three overall stakes wins and a bankroll of $520,060. With Ramon Vazquez riding for the first time, he’s the leading money earner in the field with $520,060 from an overall race record of 22-6-3-1.
Indian Peak, who has banked $455,122 from an overall mark of 30-6-5-4, finished a head behind the top selection two starts back in the March 19 Sensational Star and was most recently third versus open company over the hillside turf in the Siren Lure Stakes April 23.
Owned by Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber, Indian Peak will be ridden for the first time by Antonio Fresu.
The complete field for the Crystal Water, which has been carded as the first of 10 races on Sunday, with Jon White’s morning line: (1) Kings River Knight 2-1; (2) Coalinga Road 3-1; (3) None Above the Law 5-2; (4) Indian Peak 4-1; (5) Bang for Your Buck 15-1; (6) Carmelita’s Man (5-1). The Chosen Vron has been scratched to run in Sunday’s 9th race, the Thor’s Echo Stakes.
First post time on Sunday is at 1 p.m. with admission gates opening at 11 a.m.