Stables’ Blues Street rallied
from behind with a four-wide move around the final turn and kicked clear of his
seven rivals in deep stretch to win Saturday’s 34th running
of the $111,000 River City Handicap (Grade III) at Churchill Downs by 4 ½
lengths over longshot Allie’s Event.
Albarado rode the winner for his
fourth River City Handicap triumph. He also won back-to-back renewals in
2001-02 with Dr. Kashnikow and the 2005 edition aboard America Alive.
Retired Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day holds the River City record with six
victories (1982, ’84, ’86, ’91, ’99 and 2000).
Street, a 7-year-old Street Cry gelding trained by Eddie Kenneally,
clocked 1 1/8 miles over “firm” going in 1:51.72, which is the slowest River
City Handicap in 23 runnings at that distance on the Matt Winn Turf Course. The
stakes record is 1:47.90 established by Dr. Kashnikow in 2001.
River City was Blues Street’s 10th victory in 30 starts and first stakes victory since
capturing the Grade II Marvin Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds in
handled the turf,” Kenneally said. “There was a little give in the ground, even
though it was listed as firm. He relaxed nicely behind the pace and he’s got a
lot of class – he’s got a lot of back class, this horse. He’s good right now
and it worked out well.”
Zimmer, the largest price in the betting at 18-1, led the
field of older horses for three-quarters of a mile through fractions of :24.40,
:49.29 and 1:14.20. Blues Street only had Allie’s Event beat down the
backstretch. As the leaders began to falter into the far turn, Blues Street
loomed with a wide rally in the clear to move into contention. He grabbed the
lead with a furlong to run and widened his margin in deep stretch.
gave me the best instructions,” Albarado said. “He said he loves to be on the
outside of horses and it was perfect the way it set up with all of the speed in
the race. It kind of stretched the race out a little bit. I was just perched on
the outside and when he made the lead he kept going. He didn’t wait for
Street, the 5-2 second choice and tacking 117 pounds, paid $7.40, $5 and $3.60.
Allie’s Event, ridden by Leandro Goncalves at 114, returned $8.60 and
$5.80. Gleam of Hope, also 117 with Corey Lanerie up, finished
third, 1 ¼ lengths behind the runner-up after being jostled between horses at
the start, and paid $4.
Tajaaweed, the 9-5 favorite and 119-pound starting high weight,
finished fourth and was followed by Bergerac, Cherokee Lord,
Zimmer and Plutonium.
$66,756 first prize jumped Blues Street’s earnings to $647,383 for Stuart
Subotnick, who races under the nom de course Anstu Stables. The
Kentucky-bred’s record is 30-10-7-3.
at Churchill Downs continues Sunday with a 10-race program that begins at 12:40
p.m. EST. The card features a Pick 6 carryover of $3,311 on Races 5-10 and a
Super Hi-5 carryover of $7,311 in the finale.
RIVER CITY HANDICAP QUOTES
Albarado, jockey on Blues Street (winner): “(Trainer) Eddie (Kenneally) gave me the best instructions. He said
he loves to be on the outside of horses and it was perfect the way it set up
with all of the speed in the race. It kind of stretched the race out a little
bit. I was just perched on the outside and when he made the lead he kept going.
He didn’t wait for anyone.”
Kenneally, trainer of Blues Street (winner): “He handled the turf course good. He had run one time over this turf
course and he didn’t run bad, and it was a Grade I race here on Derby Day a
couple of years ago (a fifth-place finish behind General Quarters and Court
Vision in the 2009 running of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic). He handled
the turf. There was a little give in the ground, even though it was listed as
firm. He relaxed nicely behind the pace and he’s go a lot of class, he’s got a
lot of back class, this horse. He’s good right now and it worked out well.”
He’s raced sparingly. Has he had any particular issues? “He’s a 7-year-old, he’s going to be eight. So
he doesn’t need to race very often. When we ran him opening day at Keeneland,
the plan was to give him six weeks and run him back in this race. The timing is
ideal – I think six weeks is perfect for a horse like him. He gives everything
when he runs, so there’s no real need to run him so often. But he doesn’t
really have any issues. He’s just an older horse that needs time, and to
run his best race he needs to be fresh.”
Robby said you gave him great instructions and said to keep him outside of
horses? “He’s a one-run kind of a
horse, and in some of his previous races when he didn’t have an option to go
out and the rider chose to go up the middle or the inside and he got stopped.
He just doesn’t start real quick. He’s a one-run kind of horse and when he
gains momentum, he doesn’t need to be stopped and you’ve got a better shot of
not being stopped when you go widest of all. Robby rode him to a T.”
Stidham, trainer of Gleam of Hope (third at 6-1) – “He (Gleam of Hope) ran a decent race. He got
bounced around leaving the gate. (Jockey) Corey (Lanerie) said he
handled the course all right.”
Peitz, trainer of Tajaaweed (fourth as 9-5 favorite) – He (Tajaaweed) had a rough trip. He was covered up
and every time it looked like he had a spot to run someone would run up on the
outside of him. We were probably running for second money, though. The winner
was pretty impressive. I think with a better trip we could have been second.”
Castanon, jockey on Tajaaweed (fourth as 9-5 favorite) – “You either get racing luck or you don’t. I had him
(Tajaaweed) covered up and thought I had a good shot at the five-sixteenths
pole. He gave me a little kick, but he needed to give me more.”