Turf: City Man adds second West Point to resume; New Ginya captures Yaddo

Sunday, August 27th, 2023

City Man racks up his 10th career stakes victory in Sunday’s West Point. NYRA Photo.

City Man has been dominant among New York-breds, captured a Grade 2 stakes in open company and has won stakes five consecutive years, starting as a 2-year-old. But if you think there’s nothing left for him to accomplish, think again.

“Hong Kong or Dubai? What are we doing?” interjected Miguel Clement, assistant to his father and trainer Christophe Clement, as owner Dean Reeves conducted a winner’s circle interview after City Man rallied to win Sunday’s West Point Stakes on New York Showcase Day at Saratoga Race Course.

And while Clement said it with a wide smile, it turns out he wasn’t kidding.

“We actually have looked at it,” Reeves said. “There’s a nice race in Hong Kong (in December) and I think he could run in Dubai (next year). This guy is maturing and he’s running as well as he ever has. It’s not out of the realm.”

In winning the West Point for the second time (2021), the son of 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man improved his career record to 11-5-4, with 10 stakes wins in 30 starts and $1,189,170 in earnings. He did it by closing from fourth in the five-horse field and catching odds-on favorite Spirit of St. Louis, who had battled down the stretch with Jerry the Nipper, in the last 50 feet.

“I’m almost out of words to describe him,” Reeves said. “Eleven wins and more than a million dollars. He’s so consistent . . . Speed and stamina. That’s a tough combination to beat. He’s special to us.”

Jerry The Nipper led until the far turn, putting up fractions of :23.91, :48.83 and 1:13.64. Spirit of St. Louis took the lead on the turn and eventually put away a stubborn Jerry The Nipper, but by then City Man was rolling down the outside under Joel Rosario. The winning margin was 1 1/4 lengths in 1:42.63.

“He’s as good as any New York-bred out there right now,” Reeves said. “We’re so proud of him. He’s a tough customer.”

City Man, owned in partnership with Peter and Patty Searles, was in the second crop of Mucho Macho Man, also owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing. Out of the City Zip mare City Scamper, the West Point winner 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. City Man was named champion New York-bred turf male in 2022.

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 New York-bred mare Patty’s Temple; a New York-bred colt by Hoppertunity; Miss City Girl, a 2-year-old full-sister to City Man who has not yet raced; and a yearling filly by Vino Rosso.

Paul Halloran

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New Ginya rolls to victory in Sunday’s Yaddo for owner/breeder Robert S. Evans and trainer Christophe Clement. NYRA Photo.

Owner/breeder/buyer Evans wins Yaddo with New Ginya

It’s not the usual business model.

Robert Evans bred his four-time stakes winner Rapid Rhythm to his Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist in 2018. She produced a New York-bred filly a year later. Lane’s End consigned the bay filly to the Keeneland September Sale where she brought $25,000. Nine months later, the filly attracted the attention of Evans’ advisor Patrick Lawley Wakelin at the OBS June Sale. Evans bought her for $250,000 and sent her to trainer Christophe Clement.

Call it a reverse pinhook.

“His advisor liked her as a 2-year-old, called Mr. Evans and he said, ‘If you like her, why don’t we buy her back?’ ” Clement said. “You know, he was right. He’s done this many times, this is not the first time.”

Sunday in Saratoga, New Ginya made the math work with a last-to-first rally in the Yaddo Handicap at Saratoga Race Course. The win improved her record to four wins from 12 starts for $334,110.

Jockey Dylan Davis settled the 4-year-old filly in last behind a quick tempo set by She’s Dancing and Whatlovelookslike. Davis stayed on the hedge through a quarter in :23.52 and a half in :48.90 over the good turf, continued to bide his time in last through three-quarters in 1:13.54. Nearing the quarter pole, Davis swung New Ginya to the outside and it was over. New Ginya passed seven rivals in about seven strides to draw off by 3 ¾ lengths over Spungie, who had a rough trip, and Runaway Rumour. New Ginya finished 1 1/16 miles on the Mellon turf in 1:43.06.

New Ginya won her debut at Aqueduct in November 2021 and spent the next 17 months toiling in the New York-bred a-other-than division. She broke out of that level in her eighth start and has now three of her last five.

“We’ve always liked her, he bought her back because she had a very good work at OBS, we always knew she had ability and we just had to be patient. Patience, usually you get rewarded at some stage,” Clement said. “She was a little bit tricky mentally. She was always very worried and anxious as a younger horse. She was not easy.  She’s much better now, but it took a long time.”

A venerable owner and breeder on the national stage, Evans waded into the New York program at his trainer’s behest.

“Just very recently because of Tonalist, I’m the one who told him that maybe it would make sense to have a few mares in New York,” said Clement, who trained Evans’ Tonalist to victories in the Belmont Stakes, Jockey Club Gold Cup (twice) and Cigar Mile. “This might be one of the first ones he’s done. It’s good for him. I hope he’s going to carry on doing it because it seems to be working.”

Three hours after New Ginya tabbed the Yaddo, Drake’s Passage made it a double for Evans by dominating the Albany. And, this time, Evans didn’t have to buy up. The son of Tonalist has always been in the program.

“It’s great for an owner/breeder,” Clement said. “I trained Tonalist for Mr. Evans so this is like a full-time success for the operation. It’s nice when it works out.”

– Sean Clancy

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