Marvelous Maude collects first stakes in Mount Vernon; City Man up in time to take Kingston

Monday, May 29th, 2023

Co-owner and breeder Michael Dubb shows Marvelous Maude some love after her victory in the Mount Vernon on Big Apple Showcase Day at Belmont Park. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law and Paul Halloran

Slumber’s strong spring continued during Monday when his daughter Marvelous Maude collected her first stakes victory in the $125,000 Mount Vernon Stakes on the Big Apple Showcase Day card at Belmont Park.

Owned by Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group and Michael Caruso, Marvelous Maude won the 1-mile Mount Vernon in her first start since finishing fourth in the Oct. 30 Ticonderoga Stakes on Empire Showcase Day. She also became Slumber’s second stakes winner on the season, along with Fluffy Socks, winner of the Grade 2 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile on the Kentucky Derby Day undercard.

Dubb bred Marvelous Maude through his Beechwood Bruckner LLC and named her after Maude Walsh, the former hospitality manager for the New York Racing Association who also worked as the paddock host for Breakfast at Belmont and during morning workouts at Saratoga Race Course.

Dubb and partners also campaigned Slumber, who stands for $7,500 at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, late in his career and before he entered stud in 2017.

“I raced the mare and I remember she ran a 91 Beyer so she was kind of fast,” Dubb said after Marvelous Maude won the Mount Vernon. “The timing was such that we had retired Slumber to Calumet (in Kentucky). I had a few breedings, so I tried breeding Wait Your Turn to Slumber. A couple years went by and no one was breeding to Slumber and Calumet was getting ready to geld the horse.

“I showed Chad [Brown, trainer of Marvelous Maude] a picture of the baby who is now Marvelous Maude and he sent it to Calumet, and they decided not to geld Slumber after all. That is how Slumber became a stallion in New York. They were very close to gelding him and it was a picture of Marvelous Maude that saved him from being gelded.”

Marvelous Maude won a photo finish in the Mount Vernon, edging Runaway Rumour on the last jump to win by a nose. She improved to 5-for-12 in the turf stakes and the $68,750 first-place check boosted her bankroll to $374,500.

Irad Ortiz Jr., who rode Classy Edition to victory in the Critical Eye on the Showcase Day card, rode Marvelous Maude. They closed from fourth through the first 6 furlongs in 1:10.20 over the firm turf, before following moves at the lead by Sanura and then by Runaway Rumour.

“Her style is not to run like that, but the track has been playing for the speed,” Ortiz said. “It was 1-mile flat and I think she’s much better going a mile and a sixteenth or a mile and an eighth. So, I had to ride her to try to win and give her the best chance to win. I was a little closer. I moved a little early and was wide, too. She still got there. She’s a nice filly. That’s not her style of running, but she got it done.”

Marvelous Maude is the first foal out of Wait Your Turn, who is also the dam of the winning 4-year-old Freud filly Jet Set Juliet and the unraced 3-year-old Freud filly Phillipsburg Mike. Dubb sent Wait Your Turn back to Slumber in 2021 and 2022 and she’s now the dam of a yearling filly by the sire and another filly by the sire born April 19.

Marvelous Maude won the Mount Vernon in her fourth stakes appearance and in her first start of 2023. She finished sixth in the Grade 2 Flower Bowl at Saratoga, second in the John Hettinger against New York-breds at Aqueduct and fourth in the Ticonderoga at Aqueduct in her final three starts of 2022, races that came after back-to-back wins on the grass in allowance company at Belmont and Saratoga.


City Man slips past Jerry the Nipper for his first victory on Belmont’s turf in Monday’s Kingston Stakes on Big Apple Showcase Day. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

• It was hard to find a blemish on the resume of accomplished New York-bred City Man heading into Monday’s Kingston Stakes on Big Apple Showcase Day, but there was the matter of his record at Belmont Park: 0-10 overall and 0-6 on the turf, where he excels.

Make that 1-11 and 1-6.

Sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the stakes race named for a horse that won 89 times in 138 starts from 1885-93, City Man needed every bit of the 8 1/2 furlongs to record his inaugural Belmont victory. Trapped behind a wall of three horses on the far turn, jockey Joel Rosario opted not to swing to the far outside, instead waiting until the last possible second for a small opening that allowed him to take City Man to the middle of the course.

From there it was simply a matter of whether he could run down Jerry the Nipper, who was given a perfect ride by Jose Ortiz, sitting off 46-1 longshot Rinaldi for about 7 furlongs before taking the lead just after they straightened for home. He looked like a winner until City Man got loose and in full stride and beat him by a nose. A fast-closing Dakota Gold ran third.

“The track is playing fast and those horses aren’t coming back like they were,” said Dean Reeves, who owns City Man with Peter and Patty Searles and also Dakota Gold. “He couldn’t come inside so I’m glad that Joel brought him outside. He really kicked in and it looked like he hesitated a little bit and then got on with it. Dakota Gold was coming on strong, too. I was really happy with both horses.”

Rosario had City Man in sixth on the inside down the backstretch and into the turn. Sitting behind the two leaders – and forming the de facto blockade – were Ocala Dream on the hedge, Citizen K in between and Somelikeithotbrown on the outside. The way it turned out, if Rosario had opted for the overland route, he may not have gotten up. The winning time was 1:39.46.

“He was ready and as soon as I said, ‘Go,’ he was there for me,” Rosario said. “For a second, I thought the horse in front of me (Jerry the Nipper) was going to keep moving and he made it a little hard for me to pass him. It seems like the track was a little speed-favoring and he took his time today, but he finished really well.”

The 6-year-old City Man won his ninth stakes and improved his career record to 10-5-4 from 29 starts. The $68,750 winner’s share increased his career earnings to $1,079,870, good enough for 52nd among all New York-breds.

“He’s a fun horse who wins a lot; I like it,” winning trainer Christophe Clement said. “He always finishes well. Joel did his job. I train, he rides. This horse always finishes strongly. The choices a couple weeks ago, we were either training for this race or the Grade 1 Manhattan (June 10). Obviously, this is a much easier race than the Manhattan and it’s nice to go back to winning ways. We can be a little more ambitious with him next time.”

City Man was in the second crop of 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man, also owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing. Out of the City Zip mare City Scamper, he was bred by Moonstar Farm and sold for $20,000 as a weanling in 2017. Two years later he went to Reeves for $185,000 at the OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training.

City Scamper is the dam of six-figure New York-bred earner Go Kelly Go and the Laoban colt El Mayor, who has earned $71,767. City Scamper also produced a New York-bred colt by Hoppertunity in 2020; Miss City Girl, a 2-year-old full sister to City Man who has not yet raced; and a yearling filly by Vino Rosso.

Leave a Reply