April 1, 2023

Finest City – 2016 Champion Female Sprinter

Finest City wins the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (c) Benoit Photos

Finest City captured just two races in 2016, but it was the latter of those, combined with no clear-cut division leader, that helped propel the chestnut daughter of City Zip to an Eclipse Award as the 2016 champion female sprinter.

Trained by Ian Kruljac, the Pennsylvania-bred kicked off her four-year-old campaign with a game head second in the Santa Monica Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park last January 23. She never strayed from California in 2016, going on to run third against allowance/optional claiming rivals in February and fourth in the Las Flores Stakes (G3) in March.

Finest City earned her first win of 2016 with a 1 1/4-length victory in the Great Lady M. Stakes (G2) at Los Alamitos on April 23. After that, she stretched out to a mile for a gutsy third-place run in the Vanity Mile (G1) behind champions Beholder and Stellar Wind.

Finest City stayed at a distance and switched to the turf for her next pair of starts. She ran fourth by only 1 3/4 lengths in the Yellow Ribbon Handicap (G2) on July 16 and then just missed by a head when second in the September 4 John C. Mabee Stakes (G2), both of which came at Del Mar.

Then came her second win of 2016, which occurred at Santa Anita Park on November 5. On that day Finest City lined up against 12 rivals in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint and pulled off a slight 8-1 upset when crossing under the wire three parts of a length in front of last year’s winner, Wavell Avenue.

That win was enough to see Finest City awarded an Eclipse Award for her 2016 exploits. She racked up a 2-2-2 record from eight starts with $823,200 in earnings during the season. Her overall mark stands at 14-4-4-2, $925,594.