06/23/2013 4:03PM

Woodbine: Riding the River repeats in King Edward Stakes

Michael Burns
Riding the River (No. 2), with Todd Kabel aboard, wins the King Edward Stakes by a head Sunday at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Riding the River won the 111th running of the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes for the second year in a row under Todd Kabel at Woodbine on Sunday.

Riding the River ($4) stalked the leaders in fourth on the backstretch in the one-mile turf route and then made a three-wide bid into contention on the turn. He hit the front early in the stretch before holding off a determined Valentino Beauty to score by a head in 1:33.24 over ground that was upgraded to firm before the race.

Hotep rallied wide from eighth to finish another neck back in third in the nine-horse field.

“He made the lead quite easily and then pulled up on me, hung on me,” Kabel said. “He had me pretty nervous, but once he saw [Valentino Beauty] come up on the inside, he dug back in gamely. He wasn’t going to let him go by.”

Riding the River, Canada’s reigning champion male grass runner, earned $120,000 of the $204,800 purse for the partnership of trainer Dave Cotey, Linmac Farm, and HGHR Inc.