Ten City improved to 2-for-2 in the $100,000 Bashford Manor (G3) at Churchill Downs, winning the closing-night feature of the spring/summer meet by a comfortable 1 ½-length margin. The Run Away and Hide colt has certainly established himself as a 2-year-old to watch going forward for owner Tommie M. Lewis and trainer Kenny McPeek, winning his first start at Keeneland by a 7-length margin, and Robby Albarado has been up for both starts.
“Kenny has always been high on this colt,” Albarado said. “He told me once he gets his legs stretched out he’ll come with a run. I saw the horse in front was stopping rather quickly so, I got my horse in a good position and everything worked out well today.”
The 2016 Bashford Manor was captured by eventual 2-year-old male champion Classic Empire, a three-time Grade 1 winner who is gearing up for a late summer/fall campaign after finishing a head second in the Preakness Stakes (G1) in his last outing.
Ten City, the 4-5 favorite among five rivals, tracked the pace in fourth before advancing to the lead nearing the completion of the far turn. Copper Bullet tried to mount a challenge in the stretch after racing greenly during the early stages, but Ten City had plenty left for the latter stages as he completed 6-furlongs in 1:10.45.
Bred in Kentucky by Phillips Racing Partnership, Ten City hails from a nice female family, with his unraced dam, the Rock Hard Ten mare Maiden America, being a half-sister to Japanese champion Grass Wonder and multiple U.S. Grade 1 winner Wonder Again, but the dark bay colt sold for only $12,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale last fall.
“I was so proud to pick a horse this talented out of the (yearling) auction for only $12,000,” McPeek said. “This horse has shown a lot of talent throughout the early stages of his career. It’s a horse that trainers dream to be around. I’ve sort of changed up my training over the last couple of years with these younger horses so there’s a good chance we’ll take it easy on him over the summer and wait to run him next in the Iroquois (G3) (during the September meet at Churchill Downs).”
Copper Bullet easily held second, with Hardworkcleanliving finishing another 6 ¾ lengths back in third.
Ten City was one of three winners on the night for McPeek, who has another exciting young prospect in the 2-year-old filly Sunny Skies. The first North American winner at stud for 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, Sunny Skies improved her record to 2-for-2 with a 1 ¾-length victory in the Debutante.