The biggest concern for trainer Paula Capestro heading into the $200,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) was how her red-hot filly River's Prayer would handle Del Mar's Polytrack in her first start on a synthetic surface. In spite of drifting out some late, the California-bred proved best while winning her fifth successive race Aug. 17 by a half-length over Strong Faith.
River's Prayer ran head and head with Shaggy Mane for the first five furlongs before assuming command for good in midstretch to win the $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. 1).