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TORONTO, ON – Trainer Michael Keogh’s City Boy found the winner’s circle for the first time in over two years on Saturday, running a shocker at 24/1 to take the $250,000 Nearctic Stakes (G2) at Woodbine.
Breaking from post 5 under Jesse Campbell as the second-longest shot on the board, City Boy was one of the best away but soon settled into mid-pack while Yorkton burst to the front. Setting a lengthy early lead, Yorkton posted an opening 1/4-mile time of :22.54.
At the top of the stretch, Yorkton’s lead diminished as Richiesinthehouse took the first shot. City Boy soon ranged up alongside him at the 1/8 pole and began to inch ahead.
Despite a late run on his outside from Reconfigure that sandwiched him in the middle, City Boy held on to win the 6-furlong sprint over the yielding outer turf course in a final time of 1:08.18.
“I nominated him, before his last start, to this,” Keogh said. “I just thought if no heavy hitters shipped in, it would be worth taking a shot, and that’s what happened.”
One and two heads separated the winner from Reconfigure and Richiesinthehouse, who took second and third, respectively. The 2/1 favorite Blind Ambition hopped at the start and had to rally from next-to-last just to head Woody Creek for fourth.
Yorkton faded to sixth in the stretch, outrunning Lookin to Strike, Admiralty Pier, and Boreal Spirit to complete the order of finish.
City Boy’s win was his first since taking a 6-furlong allowance sprint over the local turf course on August 19, 2017, and improved his overall record to 16-3-6-2. The Ontario-bred 5-year-old gelded son of City Zip, who only started twice in 2018 due to various injuries, has now earned $297,148 for owner/breeder Gustav Schickedanz (whose estate owns the horse after he passed on June 17) and co-owner Donald Howard.
“It’s been a long year, this one… a difficult year,” Keogh said. “(The win) is great. I’m just going to savor the moment. This one’s for Gus.”
City Boy returned $50.70 to win, $20.90 to place, and $11.70 to show. Reconfigure brought back $10.60 to place and $6.50 to show, while Richiesinthehouse paid $6.50 to show.
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