Unbeaten City Man romps in the Funny Cide Stakes

Friday, August 23rd, 2019

NYRA/Elsa Lorieul

By Bill Heller

Reeves Thoroughbreds and Peter and Patty Searles’ two-year-old colt City Man may never reach the heights of Funny Cide — Sackatoga Stable’s New York-bred who won the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes — but he’s done everything he’s been asked to in winning his first two starts. He won his maiden debut by three lengths at Saratoga at 6-5 under Joel Rosario on July 18. On Showcase Day for New York-breds Friday at Saratoga, he added his first stakes triumph, taking the 6 1/2 furlong $200,000 Funny Cide Stakes by 4 3/4 lengths under Rosario as the 2-1 favorite in the field of nine in 1:16.93 for trainer Christophe Clement.

Cleon Jones, who was 3-1 under Jorge Vargas, finished second, one length ahead of Listentoyourheart, who was 5-1 under Manny Franco. The Italian American, who was 10-1 with Javier Castellano aboard, finished fourth, a length and three-quarters behind Listentoyourheart.

Moonstar Farm bred City Man, a son of Mucho Macho Man out of City Scamper by City Zip.

NYRA/Coglianese Photos

In his debut, City Man was seventh early before rallying. On Friday, he broke much more sharply from the three post, getting away second as Bull of Bayren, who was 20-1 on the rail under Ricardo Santana Jr., took the early lead. Bull of Bayern led City Man by a length and a half in an opening quarter-mile in :22.25.

“I was expecting him to be further off the pace,” Clement said. “Exact opposite. He broke sharp and Joel let him run his race.”

City Man narrowed the margin to three-quarters of a length in a :45.35 half-mile, then made his move for the lead.

Though he raced a tad greenly, City Man surged past Bull of Bayern and opened up on the field, winning by himself. [VIDEO REPLAY]

“He broke very well today,” Rosario said. “The first time he broke a little slow. The race was a little longer, so I was very happy with him. He tried hard and it was great. In the stretch, he was very comfortable. I asked him to go and he went.”

In the winner’s circle, Jack Knowlton, the managing partner of Sackatoga Stable, presented the Funny Cide Trophy to the winners.

With two wins in two starts to begin his career, City Man has earned more than $150,000. And while most people associate Clement with grass racing, he has had his share of outstanding dirt horses, too, including Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist.

City Man’s connections are going to have a lot of fun finding out just how good he is.

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