Tajaaweed may have not had the best trip in the Oct. 8 Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) when finishing sixth after breaking from the inside, but the son of Dynaformer looks poised and ready for a rebound in the Nov. 19 River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
Tajaaweed, who earlier this year captured the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT), heads a cast of eight in the 1 1/8-mile River City, which is the ninth race on the card and is slated for 4:37 p.m. The horse, who will carry top weight of 119 pounds, enters the River City off a Nov. 13 bullet work at Churchill Downs Training Center, where he covered five furlongs in 1:10 3/5.
Before the Turf Mile, Tajaaweed showed his affinity for the 1 1/8-mile distance when he scored an allowance optional claiming contest at Arlington Sept. 10.
Trained by Daniel Peitz for Shadwell Stable, Tajaaweed started his career in England where he won the Addieshaw Goddard Dee Stakes (Eng-III) at 3. The bay horse began racing in the United States the next season and has since placed in two other stakes—last year’s Arlington Handicap and the June 17 Opening Verse, also at Churchill.
In all, Tajaaweed holds a career record of 5-2-1 from 19 starts, for earnings of $301,593. Bred in Kentucky by Herman Sarkowsky, he is out of the Zilzal mare Uforia. He will be piloted for the first time by jockey Jesus Castanon and the pair will break from the outside.
Blues Street, a son of Street Cry, won last year’s Mervin Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) and Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT), both in New Orleans. Trained by Eddie Kenneally for Anstu Stables, the River City will mark his first outing under the Twin Spires. Blues Street is looking to rebound after being winless in his last three starts.
With a record of 9-7-3 from 29 starts and earnings of $580,627, the seasoned 7-year-old most recently finished second by a neck in a Keeneland allowance contest Oct. 7. Robby Albarado has the riding assignment on Blues Street, who will break from post 6.
Gleam of Hope, campaigned by Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Asbury and trained by Michael Stidham, has been in good form in his last two starts. He won an allowance optional claiming contest on Polytrack at Arlington in August and finished a close second in the Oct. 8 Robert F. Carey Memorial Stakes at Hawthorne Park.
The 4-year-old son of City Zip has won or placed in four other stakes the last three years, including a victory in the 2010 Jefferson Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Churchill. With a career mark of 5-2-2 from 16 starts, he has earned $323,262. Corey Lanerie will ride, and the pair will break from post 3.
Also in the River City field is Cherokee Lord, who enters off a victory in the Oct. 16 Remington Green Stakes at Remington Park; stakes-placed runners Allie's Event and Bergerac; and Plutonium and Zimmer, who are both looking for their first black-type scores.
$100,000 River City Handicap (gr. III, Race 9, 4:37 p.m.), 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Plutonium, V Lebron, 114, D E Pate
2. Cherokee Lord, M Guidry, 115, C Livesay
3. Gleam of Hope, C J Lanerie, 115, M Stidham
4. Bergerac, M R Cruz, 114, J E Baker
5. Zimmer, C H Borel, 112, P B Byrne
6. Blues Street, R Albarado, 116, E Kenneally
7. Allie’s Event, L R Goncalves, 113, L A Smock
8. Tajaaweed, J L Castanon, 119, D C Peitz