Popular New York-bred earns fifth stakes win in the G3
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Almost 20 years after campaigning Grade 1-winning millionaire Forbidden Apple, trainer Christophe Clement picked up his second triumph in his former trainee’s Grade 3, $175,000 namesake race at Saratoga Race Course with New York-bred City Man, who scored his fifth lifetime stakes win for owners Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Patty Searles and Peter Searles.
A stakes winner on the NYRA circuit for the past four years, City Man also picked up his first graded stakes victory in the one-mile inner turf test, entering from a troubled seventh against his state bred counterparts in the Kingston on May 30 at Belmont Park.
“It was very unlucky last time, he was trapped,” said Clement, who won the 2017 Forbidden Apple with New York-bred Disco Partner. “Today, it worked out. Great trip. He’s been a bit unlucky lately, so it was fun to have a good trip and he won well. It’s fun to win the Forbidden Apple, because I did train Forbidden Apple.”
City Man exited post 9 and was angled toward the rail by jockey Joel Rosario to settle in seventh position as a headstrong Yes and Yes led the field into the first turn through an opening quarter-mile in 23.31 seconds over the firm going.
Yes and Yes was joined by Get Smokin down the backstretch, who ran on even terms with the pacesetter through a half-mile in 47.23. Meanwhile, City Man maintained his inside position with Public Sector to his outside as the field approached the far turn.
Rosario moved his charge back to the outside as the field reached the quarter pole with Get Smokin as the new leader. But a tenacious City Man launched a devastating bid from the far outside and seized command inside the eighth pole to win by 2 3/4 lengths in a final time of 1:33.76.
Atone finished second, a nose ahead of the Chad Brown-trained Public Sector, a two-time graded-stakes winner last year at the Spa.
Rounding out the order of finish were Get Smokin, Set Piece, Mira Mission, Wolfie’s Dynaghost, Sanctuary City, Scuttlebuzz, Clear Vision and Yes and Yes. Analyze It was scratched.
Now a six-time winner, City Man banked $96,250 in victory while enhancing his lifetime bankroll to $653,053 through a 22-6-4-3 record. He paid $26.60 for a $2 win bet.
The victory only solidified the chemistry between City Man and Rosario, who was aboard for four of the horse’s five stakes conquests.
“I was very comfortable. For a second, I was between horses passing the three-eighths, but he was handling everything fine. He put in a good run today,” Rosario said. “Turning for home when we started moving, I got lucky and got out in front of them. Chad’s horse was outside me and it looked like every time I asked him [City Man] to do something, he was moving forward.”
Three of City Man’s five stakes wins have taken place against open company, including his 2022 debut in the Danger’s Hour on April 9 at Aqueduct as well as the 2020 Gio Ponti at Aqueduct.
“He’s a good New York-bred, but he’s also a good horse. He won the open stakes at Aqueduct in April, so let’s enjoy this and see what’s next,” Clement said.
Bred in the Empire State by Moonstar Farm, City Man is out of the City Zip mare City Scamper and was bought for $185,000 out of the Off The Hook consignment at the 2019 OBS April Sale.
Live racing resumes Saturday at Saratoga Race Course with an 11-race card, featuring the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana in Race 8 and the Grade 3, $175,000 Sanford in Race 10. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.
Saratoga Live will present daily coverage and analysis of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every race of the summer meet. Available to horse players nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.
By Ryan Martin
Photo by Dom Napolitano