A spectacular seven-length debut winner at Keeneland, Ten City remained unbeaten with a 1 ½-length score in the $100,000 Bashford Manor (G3) on the closing day “Downs After Dark” program at Churchill Downs. Kenny McPeek trains the son of Run Away and Hide and Robby Albarado guided the 2-year-old colt through 6-furlongs in 1:10.45.
“Kenny has always been high on this colt,” Albarado said. “He told me once he gets his legs stretched out he’ll come with a run. I saw the horse in front was stopping rather quickly so, I got my horse in a good position and everything worked out well today.”
Purchased for $12,000 at last fall’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale, Ten City is owned by Tommie M. Lewis. The winner left the starting gate as the 4-5 favorite among five runners, with runner-up Copper Bullet the even-money second choice following a seven-length maiden tally under the Twin Spires.
Copper Bullet showed his immaturity after breaking slowly, rushing forward to challenge a hopeless longshot for the lead along the inside before easing out of the action on the far turn. He found himself behind rivals nearing the top of the stretch and after hopping several times in tight quarters, Copper Bullet found a seam and closed ground on the winner in the final furlong while coming up short.
“It was just a tough trip,” Copper Bullet’s rider Florent Geroux said. “He worked his way up there on the inside and there was a lot of stuff going on in very a short field. He ran great. He was probably the best today, but the trip didn’t help.”
Ten City stalked the pace in fourth before advancing into contention rounding the bend and surged to the lead while straightening for home, opening up a commanding lead in midstretch.
“I was so proud to pick a horse this talented out of the (yearling) auction for only $12,000,” McPeek said. “This horse has shown a lot of talent throughout the early stages of his career. It’s a horse that trainers dream to be around. I’ve sort of changed up my training over the last couple of years with these younger horses so there’s a good chance we’ll take it easy on him over the summer and wait to run him next in the Iroquois (G3) (during the September meet at Churchill Downs).”
It was a 6 3/4-length gap back to Hardworkcleanlivin in third. Fig Jelly came next and I’m Corfu, who established early splits in :21.97 and :45.28 before throwing in the towel, completed the order of finish. Mo Diddley was scratched.
Bred in Kentucky by Phillips Racing Partnership, Ten City is the first stakes winner out of the unraced Rock Hard Ten mare Maiden America, who counts Japanese champion Grass Wonder as a half-brother and multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Wonder Again as a half-sister.
Last year’s Bashford Manor was won by eventual champion 2-year-old Classic Empire.