OZONE PARK, N.Y. — Trained by Christophe Clement, the New York-bred City Man made his 5-year-old debut in style in the $100,000 Danger’s Hour at Aqueduct Racetrack as he drew off to an authoritative 2 ¼-length score in the one-mile turf event for older horses.
A dark bay son of Mucho Macho Man, City Man has now established a penchant for running well fresh with his win on Saturday. In 2021, the Clement trainee finished second in the Grade 2 Fort Marcy in his seasonal bow with a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure behind eventual Grade 1 winner Tribhuvan. He never quite lived up to that number for the remainder of the year, though he did capture the West Point at Saratoga Race Course with a 99 Beyer to pick up his only win of the campaign.
“That’s what good horses do,” said Clement. “He came back well from Florida where he had a little break. He shipped up here well in good shape and everything worked out. He’s always been a nice horse. He’s been at stakes level since he was a 2-year-old.”
Bred in the Empire State by Moonstar Farm, City Man looked rejuvenated in the Danger’s Hour with Joel Rosario in the irons. The pair broke well from the rail and took up position in the garden spot on the inner turf course behind dueling leaders Value Proposition and Rinaldi, who were both gunned to the front and sparred through a swift opening quarter-mile of 24.01 seconds. The pair throttled down the pace on the backstretch, logging the half in 49.15, which allowed City Man and Rosario to take up closer order.
Around the far turn Value Proposition shook away from Rinaldi through three-quarters in 1:13.79, but he was immediately confronted by a ground-saving City Man as the field turned for home. In the stretch the enervated pacesetter proved no match for his pursuer, as City Man was full of run and bounded away to complete the distance in 1:37.58 on a turf course labeled good.
“It looked like the set up with the pace was good for him, and after that it looked like I had the best horse in the race,” said Rosario. “With the way the race unfolded, he was in a perfect spot and did a good job after that. I look forward to the next one.”
The win marked City Man’s 5th from 19 tries for owners Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Peter and Patty Searles. He returned $7.80 on a $2 win wager and increased his career earnings to $543,550.
Another New York-bred, Sanctuary City rallied to finish second, while the 6-5 favorite Value Proposition faded to finish third. Therapist, also from the barn of Clement, checked in fourth and was followed home by It’s a Gamble, Price Talk, and Rinaldi.
“I think the horse needed the race because he had three months without running, so I guess he’s ready for next time,” said Ruben Silvera, rider aboard Sanctuary City. “With this horse, he’s coming little by little. He’s a nice horse.”
Live racing resumes Sunday at the Big A with a nine-race card headlined by the $100,000 Top Flight Invitational. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.
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NYRA Press Office
Photo City Man. (NYRA/Coglianese)