If not for a canceled flight, North America’s best main track sprinter of the past two years might have never set a foot on dirt in competition.
Mr. Ciaran Dunne bought Roy H for $115,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, and he had plans to sell him through his Wavertree Stables consignment at one of the Tattersalls breeze up sales in Europe. But the flight Roy H was scheduled to take over the Atlantic was canceled. Dunne had cross-entered the colt in the Keeneland April 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale, so he decided to change course to central Kentucky.
Roy H breezed a quarter-mile in :20 1/5 seconds during the pre-sale under-tack show, which took place over Keeneland’s former Polytrack surface.
He then sold to Rockingham Ranch for $310,000 at the Keeneland April sale and went on to double down with Breeders’ Cup Sprint and champion sprinter titles in both 2017 and 2018. A seven-time graded stakes winner, Roy H has earned more than $3.1 million over five seasons of racing.
“Roy H was always a good horse,” Dunne said. “He worked great up there, and to be honest, we thought he was going to sell for more than he did.”
Though Dunne’s “Plan A” had Roy H going down a grass-covered path, he said the accolades the horse has acquired running short on the dirt were not at all surprising.
“We train on the dirt, and all of his breezing was on the dirt,” he said. “It was pedigree that influenced us more than anything in the decision, but he didn’t do anything wrong on the dirt to make you think that he wouldn’t handle it.