“This one’s for Gus”: City Boy delivers upset, emotional Nearctic Stakes score

October 12, 2019

TORONTO, October 12 – City Boy, the second-to-longest shot at 24-1, closed determinedly to prevail by a head under rider Jesse Campbell in Saturday’s Grade 2, $280,900 Nearctic Stakes.

The Nearctic, run over six furlongs of “yielding” turf, went with a field of nine.

“I nominated him, before his last start, to this,” said Mike Keogh, who trains City Boy for The Estate of Gustav Schickedanz and Don Howard. “I just thought if no heavy hitters shipped in, it would be worth taking a shot. And, that’s what happened.”

Boreal Spirit was first to show in the Nearctic, but Yorkton, breaking from the outside, quickly assumed command and led by two lengths through a quarter-mile timed in :22.54 and by a length after a half in :45.13.

Although Yorkton still led turning for home, the backfield was in motion and City Boy, who had raced in close attendance throughout, battled it out to prevail in the tight finish.

Reconfigure, claimed for $25,000 at Woodbine this July, also finished well to take down second money and complete a local exactor.

City Boy and jockey Jesse Campbell in the $250,000 Nearctic Stakes (Grade 2) on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)

Richiesinthehouse, a Chicago shipper who had stalked the pace throughout, finished another head back in third, with 2-1 favorite Blind Ambition fourth, 1 ½-lengths behind the show horse.

Woody Creek, invading from Ireland, never reached serious contention and finished fifth, while Yorkton hit the wall and ended sixth.

Lookin to Strike, Admiralty Pier, and Boreal Spirit completed the order of finish.

The final time was 1:08.18.

Keogh was recording his second Nearctic win, having captured the 1999 renewal with Clever Response.

The bay was winning his first stakes race and just his third race in his 16th career outing. Bred by Schickedanz, who died this June 17, City Boy is a five-year-old gelding by City Zip out of the Bold Ruckus mare Princess Ruckus.

Keogh had no immediate thoughts on City Boy’s next step.

“It’s been a long year, this one… a difficult year,” he said. “(The win) It’s great. I’m just going to savour the moment. This one’s for Gus.”

City Boy returned $50.70, $20.90 and $11.70. The 5-4 exactor with 11-1 Reconfigure came back at $419.30 and the 5-4-8 triactor with 8-1 Richiesinthehouse ($6.50, to show) was worth $2,001.05. Mutuel favourite Blind Ambition completed a boxcar 5-4-8-6 superfecta worth  $7,447.65 for $1.

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