Boisterous, winner of the Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) and Knickerbocker (gr. IIIT) in his previous two starts, carries top weight of 124 pounds against 11 rivals in the $100,000 River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 25 at Churchill Downs.
The River City, at 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course for 3-year-olds and up, highlights an 11-race closing-day program for the Louisville oval's fall meet and is carded as Race 10 with an approximate post time of 5:15 p.m. EST.
A 5-year-old son of Distorted Humor
, Boisterous also recorded triumphs in the Red Smith and Knickerbocker in the final two starts of his 4-year-old campaign. The other graded stakes victory for the Shug McGaughey-trained runner came in the Fort Marcy (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park
Rather than get a break following the Red Smith as he did last year, McGaughey shipped Boisterous to Louisville from New York Nov. 20. He breaks from post 2 under Jose Lezcano.
"The horse is doing really well and he came out of his last race in great shape," McGaughey said. "He's trained well since the race and has been in good shape since he got to Churchill Downs. We're looking forward to Sunday."
McGaughey, a 30-time stakes winner at Churchill Downs, said the cooler temperatures expected in Louisville Nov. 25 (mid-to-high 40s) played a part in the decision to ship Boisterous to Kentucky.
"He seems to like cool weather," the trainer remarked. "That's one of the reasons I liked this spot and didn't want to send him to Calder. I wouldn't have shipped him if it was going to be 80 degrees."
The River City is to be the final start of the year for Boisterous; he will ship to Payson Park in Florida to be prepared for a 2013 campaign.
A main rival for the Phipps Stable entrant is Michael Bruder's Guys Reward
, who is weighted at 118 pounds. He won the Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) and Opening Verse this spring. A 5-year-old by Grand Reward
, the Dale Romans trainee has recorded five of his seven career wins on the grass at Churchill. He breaks from post 7 under Corey Lanerie.
Other top contenders in the River City include G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and St. George Farm's Middie
, winner of the Washington Park Handicap (gr. III); Stormy Lord
, winner of last year's Connaught Cup (Can-IIT) at Woodbine
; and Bluegrass Hall homebred Optimizer
, who won the Kent (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park
prior to finishing 11th in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
$100,000 River City Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 10, approximate post 5:15 p.m. EST), 3YOs & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP., Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, Odds
1. Global Power (KY), J. Rocco, Jr., 118, T M Amoss, 15-1
2. Boisterous (KY), J. Lezcano, 124, C R McGaughey III, 2-1
3. Skyring (KY), V. Lebron, 114, D W Lukas, 30-1
4. Middie (KY), F.C. Torres, 116, P J Oliver, 20-1
5. Optimizer (KY), J.K. Court, 114, D W Lukas, 6-1
6. Stormy Lord (ON), D. Cohen, 119, I Black, 6-1
7. Guys Reward (KY), C.J. Lanerie, 118, D L Romans, 5-1
8. Temeraine (KY), J.L. Castanon, 112, T F Proctor, 12-1
9. Swift Warrior (KY), J.L. Espinoza, 115, J P Terranova, II, 12-1
10. Keep Up (KY), M. Mena, 114, A Clarkson, 12-1
11. Miami Deco (ON), S. Bridgmohan, 116 B A Lynch, 10-1
12. Depeche Chat (FL), B.J. Hernandez, Jr., 116, G R Arnold, II, 12-1