City Man closes 2022 with Fort Lauderdale victory

Saturday, December 31st, 2022

City Man and Joel Rosario cruise to rail-skimming victory in Saturday’s Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale. Lauren King/Gulfstream Park Photo.

City Man started his 2022 season with an open company stakes victory, and did one better in his finale.

The 5-year-old New York-bred son of Mucho Macho Man delivered on New Year’s Eve for owners Dean and Patti Reeves of Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Peter and Patty Searles and trainer Christophe Clement, coming up the inside under Joel Rosario to win Saturday’s 66th renewal of the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

City Man improved to 5-for-8 with the victory – all stakes wins – and added the Fort Lauderdale to prior open company wins in the Danger’s Hour in early April at Aqueduct and Grade 3 Forbidden Apple at Saratoga Race Course. He also inched closer to the seven-figure earnings mark, collecting $115,320 to boost his bankroll to $987,120, ahead of a more lucrative start in the January 28 $1 million, Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at Gulfstream.

“He was running so well up in New York and we just felt like he was really on top of his game,” said Dean Reeves. “I’ve never seen him run this well. We thought, ‘Let’s run another race and really see how he does against open company in a Grade 2,’ and if we did well there we’d look probably to go to the Pegasus. Christophe stables at Payson Park, so we’ll leave him here in Florida and get him ready for the Pegasus.”

Sent off as the 3-1 second choice in the field of 12 behind last year’s Pegasus World Cup Turf winner and even-money choice Colonel Liam, City Man and jockey Joel Rosario tracked in third early. Winfromwithin, a 34-1 longshot under Chantal Sutherland, set the pace on an open lead through splits of :23.62 and :46.92 ahead of Decorated Invader, City Man and Colonel Liam.

Winfromwithin continued to lead through 6 furlongs in 1:10.11 over the firm ground with Decorated Invader within a half-length and City Man and Rosario looking for room on the inside.

The room eventually came as the field turned for home and City Man spurted clear on the rail. He drew off from there, widening his advantage inside the final eighth as Decorated Invader held second in a four-way photo with Street Ready, Winfromwithin and Good Governance. The latter two finished in a dead-heat for fourth and Colonel Liam checked in sixth.

City Man, the winner of nine of 26 in his career, won in 1:46.10.

“It was a good trip,” Rosario said. “He came out of the gate well so I could get a good position. I was in a good spot. He did the rest after that.”

City Man made it three straight in the Fort Lauderdale, after victories in the Ashley T. Cole Stakes and Mohawk Stakes, both over New York-breds during the Belmont at the Big A meeting at Aqueduct. He also finished second in the Grade 3 Bernard Baruch Handicap on Closing Day at Saratoga Race Course this season.

Clement was pleased with the performance, of City Man and his rider.

“The idea was to be forward with him. I told [Rosario] not to fight him and be comfortable, and he won well,” Clement said. “It’s a nice race, a prep for the Pegasus. That would be the plan. 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?’ It’s a beautiful turf course, well done by Gulfstream. They got it right. All the jockeys have been very positive about it, and I’m delighted.”

Bred by Moonstar Farm, City Man is the fourth foal out of the winning City Zip mare City Scamper. A half-sister to New York stakes winner Alysinstilettos and stakes-placed Always For You, City Scamper is also the dam of the five-time winning and $105,017-earning New York-bred Majestic Warrior mare Go Kelly Go and two-time winning and $61,687-earning New York-bred Laoban ridgling El Mayor.

City Man originally sold for $20,000 as a weanling at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale. He showed up in the OBS April sale 18 months later and was purchased by Dean Reeves for $185,000. He was in the second crop of Mucho Macho Man, whom Reeves campaigned to a victory in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

City Scamper also produced a New York-bred colt by Hoppertunity in early March 2020 and is the dam of the yearling full sister to City Man, Miss City Girl, born April 7, 2021. Moonstar Farm bred those two, along with a weanling filly by Vino Rosso born May 10, 2022.

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