ARCADIA, CA – Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren, Jr.’s City of Light led the field of nine 3-year-olds from start to finish in Tuesday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita.
Off briskly from the rail under Drayden Van Dyke, City of Light led the bunched group through an opening splits of :22.52 and :44.82. At the top of the stretch, only 8 lengths separated the top eight. City of Light came a bit off the rail and opened up running room inside for a stalking Edwards Going Left, while to his outside, Favorable Outcome was mounting a rally of his own. Neither proved to have enough left to chase down the leader, though, and City of Light gradually kicked away to win by 2 lengths in a final time of 1:21.21 for the 7-furlong main track sprint.
“First of all, he was very confident going into the race based on his recent works,” Van Dyke said. “Being in the one hole, I just had to make sure I got him out fast. He broke solid, and I got to set the pace. He responded well – he wanted to take off.”
Edwards Going Left, claimed for $50,000 upon debuting in February, finished strongly and outlasted Favorable Outcome for second by a length. Pavel, last seen in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, couldn’t mount a rally in the stretch and finished 2 1/2 lengths back in fourth. Irish Freedom, C Z Rocket, Dabster, Heartwood, and The Street Fighter completed the order of finish.
City of Light didn’t make his first career start until July, finishing second in a maiden special weight at Los Alamitos, and the Malibu was his first stakes race of any type. Purchased for $710,000 as a yearling, the Michael McCarthy-trained son of Quality Road used the victory to increase his career earnings to $250,600 with a record of 5-2-3-0.
“This horse has a lot of natural ability,” McCarthy said. “I’ve had a lot of faith in this horse from the first day I saw him at Keeneland as a September yearling. He’s a big horse and it took him a while to come to himself. When a horse is doing good, you gotta go; you gotta take a shot. With a horse like this, who’s got a lot of natural speed, you let him go ahead and showcase it.”
City of Light returned $17 to win, $8.80 to place, and $5.60 to show. Edwards Going Left brought back $11.40 to place and $6.20 to show, while Favorable Outcome paid $3.80 to show.