LOUISVILLE, KY – Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Shining Copper led every step of the way en route to wiring Thursday’s Grade 3, $100,000 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs.
Breaking alertly from post 4 under Corey Lanerie, Shining Copper set comfortable fractions of :24.28, :48.77, and 1:14.24 over the yielding turf. Angled off the rail onto the stretch, Shining Copper repelled several bids before opening up and drawing away near the 1/8 pole to hit the wire first in a final time of 1:52.78 for the 1 1/8-mile race.
“We knew going in his style of running, and once we broke well from the gate, he never looked back,” Lanerie said. “I asked him a bit to go at the 3/8 pole and he responded when horses got close to him.”
The Michael Maker trainee was 1 3/4 lengths in front of a four-way photo for second. Kasaqui finished a head past Revved Up, who was a nose ahead of Thatcher Street, who in turn was a head in front of Team Colors. In sixth came Christian C, with Some in Tieme, War Correspondent, Vettori Kin, Applicator, Shotgun Kowboy, Coco Mon, and Zulu Alpha completing the order of finish. Gostisbehere and Turf Titan were scratched.
Lightly raced in 2017, Shining Copper took 13 months off before debuting at Kentucky Downs in September. The 7-year-old gelded son of Aragorn now has a career record of 31-8-4-7 with earnings of $697,169.
“He got pretty sick at the end of the Saratoga meet last year,” Maker said. “He was off for nearly a year but has come back and done well with everything we’ve asked of him. His best way of going is on the front end and he got a perfect setup today.”
Shining Copper returned $10.40 to win, $6 to place, and $4 to show. Kasaqui brought back $9.20 to place and $6.40 to show, while Revved Up paid $3.60 to show.