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City to City Targets Yellow Ribbon

City to City, All Star Heart and Go Forth North, the 1-2-3 finishers in Sunday’s $250,000 Grade II John C. Mabee Stakes, could return for a rematch in the $250,000, Grade II Yellow Ribbon Handicap on Labor Day, Monday, September 3.

City to City, ridden by Corey Nakatani, got up in the last instant for the narrowest of nose victories over All Star Heart. Go Forth North set the early pace and was only beaten 1 ½ lengths in her first start since April.

Dan Ward, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, said Monday that the victory by the 5-year-old mare , a Kentucky-bred daughter of City Zip, in the 1 1/8-mile race was especially pleasing since it was produced by a stable favorite.

“This was a really nice win for City to City and she deserves it,” Hollendorfer said after the race. “She had a really severe injury (ankle fracture) here two years ago. I never thought she’d ever race again but she overcame it …I congratulate her.”

The finish was so close that Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally said he was headed for the winner’s circle to greet All Star Heart when the photo finish result stopped him in his tracks. The Yellow Ribbon (former Palomar Handicap) is a sixteenth of a mile shorter, which could work to All Star Heart’s advantage.

“The owner is from Canada and is looking for a race there, but we might stay (for the Yellow Ribbon),” McAnally said.

A.C. Avila, trainer of Go Forth North, had said before the race that the Yellow Ribbon was a goal for the 5-year-old mare.

 

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