Boisterous the one to beat in River City

Phipps Stable's Boisterous, winner of the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap and Grade 3 Knickerbocker in his last two starts, will carry the top weight of 124 pounds when he faces 11 rivals in Sunday's 35th running of the Grade 3, $100,000 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile turf affair highlights the 11-race closing-day program.

Boisterous also recorded triumphs in the Red Smith and Knickerbocker in the final two starts of his four-year-old campaign in 2011. The Shug McGaughey-trained son of Distorted Humor captured the Grade 3 Fort Marcy earlier this season and placed in both Grade 1 Manhattan and Grade 3 Arlington Handicap before launching his present winning skein. He will break from post 2 with Jose Lezcano.

The main rival for Boisterous could be Guys Reward, winner of the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap and Opening Verse on the Matt Winn turf course in the spring. By Grand Reward, the Dale Romans-trained five-year-old has recorded five of his seven career wins on the grass at Churchill Downs. He starts from post 7 under the spring meet's leading rider Corey Lanerie.

Other contenders in the River City include Middie, winner of the Grade 3 Washington Park Handicap and fifth most recently in the Grade 2 Fayette at Keeneland; Stormy Lord, winner of last year's Grade 2 Connaught Cup at Woodbine; and Optimizer, who won the Grade 3 Kent at Delaware Park prior to finishing 11th in the Breeders' Cup Turf.

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