City Man scoring his first graded stakes in the Forbidden Apple. (Dom Napolitano)
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Peter Searles and Patty Searles’ popular New York-bred City Man is scheduled to make his next start on May 6 in the Grade 2, $200,000 Fort Marcy at nine furlongs over the Belmont Park turf.
The 6-year-old son of Mucho Macho Man, bred in the Empire State by Moonstar Farm, enjoyed a highly prosperous 2022 campaign, securing five stakes victories. Three starts after capturing the open company Danger’s Hour last April in his 5-year-old debut, he secured his first graded stakes triumph in the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple at Saratoga Race Course, earning a career-best 104 Beyer Speed Figure. He ended last season on a high note, racking up three consecutive stakes scores in the state-bred Ashley T. Cole and Mohawk at Belmont at the Big A before taking the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale on New Year’s Eve at Gulfstream Park.
City Man finished off-the-board in his seasonal debut last out on January 28 in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at Gulfstream. He had his second work back Friday, breezing a half-mile in 51.66 seconds over a fast Big Sandy for trainer Christophe Clement.
“That’s the plan,” Clement said when asked about the Fort Marcy. “He worked with Trevor McCarthy this morning. He won five stakes last year; he’s a very fine horse and he loves New York. He’s doing great and he’s happy. He seems to still show a lot in the morning, so we’ll find out in the afternoon.”
City Man, who finished a respective second and fourth in the last two editions of the Fort Marcy, was defeated five lengths by the victorious Atone in the Pegasus World Cup Turf. Clement says he plans to, “turn the page and move on” from the troubled effort, where City Man was toward the rear of the field and wide the whole journey.
Clement is hopeful that City Man can provide more success for owners Dean and Patti Reeves, who scored five stakes triumphs at last year’s Saratoga meet. This year, Clement has already won three stakes with Reeves-owned horses, including Big Everest in the Danger’s Hour at Aqueduct Racetrack as well as with Big Invasion in the Silks Run and Breath Away in the Sanibel Island – both at Gulfstream.
“They’re very good owners and they’ve been very lucky. They put themselves in the position to be successful,” Clement said.
City Man, out of the City Zip mare City Scamper, is closing in on millionaire status, boasting $987,120 in earnings from a record of 27-9-5-3. He was bought for $185,000 out of the Off The Hook consignment at the 2019 OBS April Sale.
Michael Dubb and Louis Lazzinnaro’s Inflation Nation will make his sophomore debut in Saturday’s $100,000 Woodhaven, a one-mile test for sophomores over the Big A inner turf.
The Speightstown chestnut enters off a pair of stakes efforts over the Big A outer turf, including a third-place finish in the November 5 Atlantic Beach which followed a close fourth in the Grade 3 Futurity on October 9.
Clement said there is a question mark on the distance as he has never raced beyond six furlongs.
“He’s doing well. He was supposed to run six furlongs, but the race did not fill,” Clement said. “It’s a fun race to try and stay at the mile. I’m not sure if he does stay the mile, but it’s a good race to try it out.”
Inflation Nation is out of the Galileo mare Urban Ball, who is a half-sister to Grade 1-winner and producer Perfect Soul.
Inflation Nation, breaking from post 5 as the 2-1 second choice, will be piloted by Dylan Davis.