Pat Day urged Brahms by Vergennes in the final eighth of a mile to win the $180,450 River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Sunday at Churchill Downs. The half-length victory was the third straight for Brahms, a son of Danzig out of the Mr. Prospector mare Queena, 1991's champion older female.
Brahms covered 1 1/8 miles on the firm turf in 1:48.09 and paid $6.80, $4.40 and $3. Vergennes, paid $7.60 and $5. Super Quercus, the 8-5 favorite in the race for 3-year-olds and up, finished another 1 3/4 lengths back and paid $2.80. The winning exacta combination paid $55.80.
Brahms, trained by Elliott Walden, earned $111,879 for owner Thomas F. Van Meter II to increase his career bankroll to $294,554. Prior to the River City, Brahms defeated fellow 3-year-olds in the $75,000 Seattle Slew Stakes at Keeneland after defeating older horses in a Saratoga allowance race, his first race since a seventh-place finish in the 1999 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). Brahms was bred in Kentucky by Emory A. Hamilton.
Finishing fourth was Takarian, who was followed by Bernstein, American Tourist, Irish Prize, Glick, and Jadada. (Chart, Equibase