The classy Irish-bred colt Century City is expected make his U.S. debut next Sunday at Bay Meadows in the $100,000 Bay Meadows Derby (gr. IIIT). Mike Smith, who won two Breeders' Cup races Saturday at Arlington Park, will ride Century City.
Century City is a multiple stakes-winner who finished second to Rock Of Gibraltar in the Group I Irish 2000 Guineas last May. Rock Of Gibraltar had won seven straight Group I races prior to running second in yesterday's Breeders' Cup Mile, a race in which he had a terrible trip.
Century City, a son of Danzig, is out of 1994 Canadian Horse of the Year and champion filly Alywow. Purchased for $2,220,400 by John Magnier as a yearling, Century City won a pair of stakes, including the Group III Tetrach Stakes, prior to running second in the Irish 2000 Guineas.
Century City was purchased privately by American owner Thomas Nichols in late June, and in his first start for Nichols, captured the Group II Goffs International Stakes at the Curragh on July 13.
Trained by Aidan O'Brien in Ireland, Century City is now based at Santa Anita and trained by Beau Greely, who received the colt while he was in New York in early August.
"When Mr. Nichols purchased him, we had planned to run him in either the Travers (at Saratoga) or the Secretariat (at Arlington Park), but he was a little knocked out when he got here so we gave him some time to rest and adjust," said Greely.
"He's an extremely nice horse and we've taken our time with him," Greely continued. "We're coming up to Bay Meadows to use this race as a prep for the Hollywood Derby."
The Bay Meadows Derby and the Grade I $500,000 Hollywood Derby, which will be run Dec. 1, are both nine-furlong turf races for 3-year-olds. Century City will enter the Bay Meadows Derby with a record that features four wins, two seconds and a third in eight career starts.
Greely has secured the services of a very hot jockey in Smith, who took the Breeders' Cup Distaff aboard Azeri and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile with Vindication.
Eighteen sophomores are nominated to the Bay Meadows Derby. Among the other confirmed starters are Blue Slew's Shoes (Caesar Bisono will ride), Runaway Dancer (Chad Schvaneveldt) and Surprized (Russell Baze).