City to City didn’t let being the beaten favorite in her two previous starts get in the way of her going all out in the Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) on Santa Anita President’s Day card Feb. 20.
The 5-year-old City Zip mare got up to win in a driving finish by a head over Up In Time, with Wild Mia finishing third. City to City covered the one mile on turf in 1:34.19 to win for owners William DeBurgh, Dr. Mark Dedomenico, and Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
The victory was City to City’s fourth stakes win and the mare’s first since she captured the Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar last summer.
After failing as the 9-5 favorite in the Robert J. Frankel Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita on New Year’s Day and as the 8-5 choice in the Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park in December, City to City was dismissed at odds of 8-1 in the Buena Vista.
Jockey Corey Nakatani kept City to City in the clear while running in mid-pack during the early going. He moved City to City three wide rounding the final turn and she responded.
“We were hoping that there would be some legitimate pace in the race, and in a mile race, there always is,” Nakatani said about the :22.48, :45.69, and 1:09.02 fractions. “This filly was doing fabulous coming into the race. I couldn’t have been in a better spot, and the way the race developed was perfect.”
Assistant trainer Dan Ward, deputizing for Hollendorfer, thought a shift in weights proved beneficial. City to City carried 119 pounds in the Buena Vista after having shouldered 123 in the Frankel. “She was carrying five pounds more than anybody else in the Frankel and that makes a big difference,” Ward said.
City to City won the Buena Vista in 1:34.19. She paid $19, $7, and $5.20. Up In Time returned $9 and $6.20, and Wild Mia paid $5.80.
The victory was worth $90,000, and the winning purse boosted City to City’s career earnings to $503,491 from an overall record of 7-5-5 in 24 races.
According to Ward, the $150,000 Santa Ana Stakes (gr. IIT) at 1 1/8 miles March 15 and the $150,000 Santa Barbara Stakes (gr. IIT) at the same distance April 21 would be considered for future starts for City to City.
Bred in Kentucky by Dr. D. Michael Cavey, City to City is out of the Storm Cat mare Stormbow.