Saturday, September 21, 2013
City of Weston springs upset
By Claire Novak
After being stopped in midstretch, City of Weston altered course and re-rallied up the inside to capture Saturday's Grade 3, $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx Racing, posting a 30-1 upset in the six-furlong test for three-year-olds. Paco Lopez rode the Antonio Sano-trained colt.
Runner-up in the August 5 Hard Spun at Delaware Park in his previous outing, City of Weston posted a couple of minor stakes wins earlier this season in the Sophomore at Tampa Bay Downs and the Big Drama at Calder, but he did not fare well when making his initial try against graded stakes rivals in the Grade 3 Carry Back two starts back, checking in a well-beaten sixth. He turned things around with a career-best performance on Saturday.
Black Hornet was quickest at the start, sprinting to the fore with Rainbow Heir and Majestic Hussar chasing him in second and third, and City of Weston was also prominent early, only three lengths back in fifth after a sizzling opening quarter-mile in :21 ⅖.
The pacesetter continued to show the way through the far turn, reaching the half-mile point in :43 ⅗ with a one-length lead, but Clearly Now was advancing fast on the far outside and City of Weston had also edged forward into a threatening position along the inside as the field entered the stretch drive.
Lopez tried to split rivals approaching the eighth pole, but the slight gap closed and he was forced to take a hold of his mount. He angled City of Weston back toward the rail and the gray surged again in deep stretch, overhauling Clearly Now to win by three-quarters of a length.
The winner stopped the teletimer in 1:09 ⅗ on the fast track.
Owned by Cloud Nine Lumoni, City of Weston paid $63 win as the eighth choice among nine runners.
Clearly Now, who forged his way to a narrow lead in the final sixteenth of a mile before being nailed late, finished second as the 2-1 favorite, a half-length better the 12-1 Black Hornet. It was another three parts of a length back to the late-running Zeewat in fourth.
Rainbow Heir, Majestic Hussar, English Manor, Salutos Amigos and Amarish rounded out the order of finish. Distinctiv Passion, Heaven's Runway, Purple Egg, Red Judicata and Take It Like a Man were all scratched.
City of Weston was bred by Haras Gran Derby in Florida. He needed nine starts before breaking his maiden in early December at Tampa Bay Downs and opened his sophomore season with a runner-up finish in the Spectacular Bid at Gulfstream Park. His other career victory came against optional claiming foes in early February. With Saturday's $180,000 payday, City of Weston nearly doubled his career earnings to $369,064 from a 21-5-4-4 line.
By 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull, City of Weston is out of the winning Souvenir Copy mare How About Datt. This is the female family of Grade 2 winner Wishing Gate, who exits a second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks on August 17.