Red Route One got his nose down just in time to win Saturday’s $200,000 Bath House Row S. at Oaklawn Park, securing an automatic berth into the Preakness S. (G1) for the 3-year-old Gun Runner colt.
Red Route One, ridden by Joel Rosario, was far back early, some 10 lengths from the front at the half-mile mark. He launched his bid with about three furlongs to run, going four-wide into the stretch and was still a half-dozen lengths off the lead turning for home.
Under furious urging from Rosario, Red Route One narrowed the margin with every stride in the stretch and got to the wire a head in front of Tapit Shoes, with Victory Formation just a half-length back in a thrilling three-horse photo.
The final time for the 1 1/8-miles on a fast track was 1:50.94.
“I always had confidence in the horse,” Rosario said. “It looked like when we got to the sixteenth pole that we had the race won. Then, they kept moving. But he gave everything to me. It was just a close race.”
Trained by Steve Asmussen for owner/breeder Winchell Thoroughbreds, the Bath House Row was the first stakes win for the chestnut 3-year-old. His overall mark is now 2-2-1 in nine starts, with earnings of $631,575. Red Route One was second in both the Rebel S. (G2) and Southwest S. (G3) this year.
Red Route One’s dam Red House is a sister to champion Untapable and Grade 1 winner Paddy O’Prado.
After leading his generation’s sire lists with his first two crops, Gun Runner leads the 2023 Third-Crop list with $4.9 million in progeny earnings and has 15 stakes horses and 10 graded stakes horses. His multiple graded performer Disarm is a likely Kentucky Derby (G1) starter for trainer Steve Asmussen and Winchell.