Royal Valor Survives Over Los Pollos Hermanos in Jones Stakes

Jones Stakes (Grade 3)- $300.000 Purse
PRX- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
August 22, 2023

The Jones Stakes would come down to the wire on Tuesday, with the stewards needing to check on a tight photo that saw Royal Valor get the head bob over Los Pollos Hermanos to score the fifth win of his career. Royal Valor has had a successful 2023, winning four of his eight races, and would end up running fifth in the BEL a couple months ago. This would be his first graded stake win. The gelding is trained by Nakamura Stables, and he is now a two-time winner, having also won back in 2015 with the late Prince of Monaco. A Beschizza is his regular rider these days, and it’s his second win in the Jones Stakes as well. Congratulations to them! Royal Valor our second choice in his field, and he won in a time of 1:41.37. That’s a median winning time when this race has been held at a mile and a sixteenth. Let’s take a look at it!

(1/4 Mile- :23.42)- Jumping out to the lead in the race will be Battle Plan, for Mb Stables, but he has some company at the front with him as Arindel’s The Legend Of Farley runs within a half-length on his immediate outside, and right beside that one is Battle Plan’s stablemate, Los Pollos Hermanos. Stalking them are four horses, so most of those field was close together in the early going. The eventual winner, Royal Valor for Nakamura Stables, is part of this group while running four wide. Trigger The Woke (TwinTowersRacing) was on the rail here, then Centennal Hall (D J C Racing Stables) and Wisdom (Mb Stables). Trailing the field is Blazin At The Wheel (Gdp Inc).

(1/2 Mile- :47.06)- Early on in the backstretch, Battle Plan increases his lead just a little bit as it is now a full length on both The Legend Of Farley and Los Pollos Hermanos. Both of them are still in good stride themselves, and still lead the four stalkers by a length. Royal Valor is still positioned in the fourth lane, so if he wanted to make a push forward, he would not be obstructed at this time. Trigger The Woke and Centennal Hall are still running with him, though Wisdom is starting to lose some ground. Blazin At The Wheel still trails but gets a closer a bit.

(Top of Stretch, 1.6F To Go)- Battle Plan is still the leader as the field moves around the turn and enters the stretch. While he still seemed to be running well, others in the field were beginning to loom as significant challengers. The first such one would be Los Pollos Hermanos, and Mb Stables would be just fine if that was the one that went on to win. But the bigger threat was Royal Valor, who was able to ride around in that fourth lane throughout the turn and was now about a half-length from the front. Since he had even cut into the advantage Los Pollos Hermanos had, Nakamura Stables had to be feeling good. Legend Of Farley was still there, too, but not looking as good. Meanwhile, there was an opening on the rail for Trigger The Woke, but could he capitalize? Wisdom was backing out, and if Blazin At The Wheel and Centennal Hall had something, they needed to show it now.

(Finish- 1:41.37)- With a furlong to go, it looked like we would have quite a race on our hands with the front four, and even Trigger The Woke still having a golden opportunity. Blazin At The Wheel now had a clear lane and was moderately advancing. Approaching the wire, Royal Valor started to inch away from Los Pollos Hermanos, but hold the phone! In the final strides, Los Pollos Hermanos shows resiliency and tries to claw back, and the result of this would be a “too close to call” finish at the wire. After looking at the photo, Royal Valor survived, and scores the win, with Los Pollos Hermanos second. They end up beating Battle Plan by a length, and that one prevails in a four-way photo for show with Blazin At The Wheel, Trigger The Woke, and The Legend Of Farley. Wisdom and Centennal Hall were non-factors.

About The Winner- Royal Valor, trained by Nakamura Stables and ridden to victory by A Beschizza, is a three-year-old gelding by Hogshead and is out of the late Flying Duchess. He was bred in California as a yearling by Nakamura Stables, the only trainer for which he has ever known. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fifth in 15 starts, his second stake win and first graded win. His career earnings are now $532.600.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Royal Valor Nakamura Stables Beschizza A 7.80   1no 1:41.37  
  Los Pollos Hermanos Mb Stables Rispoli U 6.20   23/4 1:41.38  
  Battle Plan Mb Stables Lopez P 1.80   3hd 1:41.56  
  Blazin At The Wheel Gdp Inc Saez L 5.65   4no 1:41.60  
  Trigger The Woke TwinTowersRacing Velazquez J R 19.55   5no 1:41.62  
  The Legend Of Farley Arindel Centeno D E 21.35   63/4 1:41.63  
  Wisdom Mb Stables Prat F 2.40   71 1:41.80  
  Centennal Hall D J C Racing Stables Ferrer J C 26.40   8 1:42.18  

Track: Fast

Time: :232  :47   1:11   1:411

$2 Mutuel Prices:

5 – Royal Valor 17.60 8.00 3.80
8 – Los Pollos Hermanos   6.90 3.40
3 – Battle Plan     2.50

$1 Exacta: 5 – 8 Paid 46.50

$1 Trifecta: 5 – 8 – 3 Paid 59.10

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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