No doubt about it, Saratoga is good to City Zip.
The 3-year-old son of Carson City extended his winning streak to three races today when he captured the $125,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II). He won by a narrow margin over Speightstown who battled fiercely in the stretch.
City Zip was the overwhelming favorite at odds of 2/5. He faced five other challengers in the six furlong test.
The race was a battle from the break. City Zip, Speightstown, Snow Ridge, and Trailthefox all broke quickly and fought early for the lead. The opening quarter mile was 21.69 and the half run in 44.86.
Speightstown took the lead going into the turn and held onto it until the top of the stretch where City Zip came at him along the rail. Long shot Smile My Lord finished third. The final time was 1:11.03.
City Zip paid $3, $2.30, and $2.10. Speightstown paid $3.4 and $2.20, and Smile My Lord paid $2.30. A $2 exacta paid $10.20 and the $2 trifecta paid $43.20.
City Zip is owned by Charles Thompson, Carl Bowling, and Lakland Farm. He is trained by Linda Rice. The colt swept through Saratoga last year, winning the Sanford (gr. II), Saratoga Special (gr. II), and the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I).
"With Jerry Bailey and Pat Day on the two speed horses (Speightstown and Snow Ridge, respectively), we assumed they would be running against us," said Rice. "I gave Jorge (Chavez) the latitude to play it as it came up. I was quite nervous after the :21 and three first quarter and watching him get bounced around at the top of the stretch. He's a tough horse to intimidate."
City Zip, now 4-for-4 at Saratoga all in graded stakes, will point for the grade 1, King's Bishop at seven furlongs on Aug. 25 Travers Day card.
"I think his best race is sitting off the pace. After an eighth of a mile into the race, I was wondering what Jorge was going to do now," Rice said. "He was surrounded by horses, and I think he made the right choice. I think they were all leg-weary, but City Zip had the will to win. Very few horses have that will, and that's what showed up at the eighth-pole. He obviously has a lot of talent, but it is his disposition and his mind that makes him the outstanding racehorse that he is."
Trainer Phillip England.said Speightstown is also likely for the King's Bishop.
"I was very proud of his race," he said. "I think he should improve off that. Going head to head with a horse like that is very tough. I think we'll take a shot in the King's Bishop. It's a big step up, but why not? I told Jerry (Bailey) to play it as it comes. At six furlongs, you're not going to take back."
Smile My Lord, Trailthefox, Fistfite and Snow Ridge trailed. Scorpion scratched to run in Saturday's Jim Dandy.