Making his second start for trainer Eddie Kenneally, Blues Street poured it on the in the final furlong en route to a decisive 4 1/2-length victory in the $111,000 River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) Nov. 19 at Churchill Downs
Sent off as the second choice in a field of eight, Blues Street won for the second time in six starts this season and notched the third graded stakes score of his career. The 7-year-old son of Street Cry was ridden by Robby Albarado, who won the River City for the fourth time.
Anstu Stables owns Blues Street, who was previously trained by Todd Pletcher. He was bred in Kentucky by Harriet Finkelstein and is out of the Capote mare Capote Blues.
Blues Street was in no hurry early in the 1 1/8-mile turf race, racing near the back of the field while Zimmer set the pace under Calvin Borel. Zimmer posted fractions of :24.40, :49.29, and 1:14.20 for the opening six furlongs, while Plutonium, Bergerac, and Cherokee Lord were his closest pursuers.
The patient Blues Street made his winning move coming four–wide off the turn, and gobbled up a tiring Zimmer at the top of the lane. In a matter of strides he had a commanding two-length advantage at the eighth-pole, and left no doubt throughout the final furlong that he was much the best.
The final time over the firm turf course was 1:51.72. Allie's Event rallied from last to get second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of Gleam of Hope. Favored Tajaaweed was fourth.
“He handled the turf,” Kenneally said. “There was a little give in the ground, even though it was listed as firm. He relaxed nicely behind the pace and he’s got a lot of class; he’s got a lot of back class, this horse. He’s good right now and it worked out well.”
Blues Street’s other win in 2011 came in an optional claimer at Belmont Park in June. He was also second in the both the Fort Lauderdale Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park and in an optional claimer at Keeneland in his last start. His other graded wins have come in the Mervin Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) and Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT), both in 2010.
The dark bay/brown gelding improved to 10-7-3 from 30 lifetime starts and earnings of $647,383.
He paid $7.40, $5, and $3.60. The exacta (6-7) returned $59.60 and the trifecta (6-7-3) was worth $451.80.