December 3, 2023

City Man earns signature victory in Ft. Lauderdale

City Man wins the Fort Lauderdale Stakes (Photo by Ryan Thompson/Coglianese Photos)

City Man and even-money favorite Colonel Liam raced side by side in the second flight for much of Saturday’s $200,000 Ft. Lauderdale (G2), but when the real running came, it was the 3-1 second choice City Man who got the money in the New Year’s Eve feature at Gulfstream Park.

Diving through an opening on the inside in upper stretch, City Man picked up well down the stretch under Joel Rosario and won the nine-furlong, firm-turf feature by 1 1/2 lengths.

Owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Peter Searles, and Patty Searles, City Man finished up in 1:46.10 and paid $8.20. Decorated Invader, a 21-1 longshot who drew in from the also-eligible list, edged Street Ready for second by a neck. The latter had a head on pacesetter Winfromwithin and Good Governance, who finished in a dead heat for fourth.

Colonel Liam, prepping for next month’s Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), which he has won the past two seasons, came up empty in the stretch and faded to sixth in his first start since March. The order of finish was rounded out by Pao Alto, Tango Tango Tango, King Cause, Shadow Sphinx, Kentucky Ghost, and Carpenters Call.

The five-year-old City Man is now likely to join Colonel Liam in the Pegasus World Cup Turf after registering his most high-profile win in the Ft. Lauderdale. The New York-bred has notched half of his eight stakes wins in state-bred company, but scored three open stakes triumphs this 2022. The others were the Forbidden Apple (G3) at Saratoga and Danger’s Hour S. at Aqueduct. City Man has now won nine of 26 starts for earnings of $987,100.

“It’s a nice race, a prep for the Pegasus. That would be the plan,” winning trainer Christophe Clement said. “He’s a New York-bred, so I gave him a break (in the winter) in the past. But this year, I just thought we had never run in the Pegasus and I told Mr. Reeves, ‘Why don’t you try to run in the Pegasus?'”

Bred by Moonstar Farm, City Man is by Mucho Macho Man and out of City Scamper, by City Zip.

Suwannee River (G3)

Stolen Holiday ended her five-year-old campaign with a second Grade 3 win on the season in the $125,000 Suwannee River (G3) for fillies and mares.

Overcoming trouble entering the first turn, Stolen Holiday rated less than five lengths off the pace and made a winning rally under Junior Alvarado. Swooping late, Stolen Holiday out-finished Lady Rockstar and long-time pacesetter Bay Storm to win by a length.

“That’s a little bit different style for her, although she did finish (in the Sand Springs S.) here last year,” winning trainer Shug McGaughey said. “She’s usually more forwardly placed. In the first turn, I didn’t know what would happen, but she finished real good.”

Owned by Annette Allen, Stolen Holiday finished up one mile on the turf in 1:34.32 and paid $13.40. Following Lady Rockstar and Bay Storm under the wire were Phantom Vision, Keeper of Time, 2-1 favorite Scotish Star, Diamond Wows, Kahiko, and Secret Time.

Second in the aforementioned Sand Springs S. in her stakes debut in early April, Stolen Holiday was subsequently unplaced in the Beaugay (G3) at Belmont Park before notching her first stakes win in the June 18 Eatontown (G3) at Monmouth Park. In her only interim start, Stolen Holiday finished fourth in the Fall Harvest S. at Keeneland over Breeders’ Cup weekend. She’s now won five of 12 starts.

Bred in Kentucky by Orpendale, Stolen Holiday is a War Front half-sister to Grade/Group 1 winners Master of Hounds, Minorette, and Eishin Apollon.