River City Handicap at Churchill

Category : News - Thu 21/11/2013 - 17:48 EST

The weekend’s feature race at Churchill is the Grade III River City Handicap for three-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles on the turf. The race has drawn a field of 14, and should be a competitive run with several stakes and graded-stakes winners going to the gate. The favorite in the morning line at 7-2 is the defending champ, Keep Up, although he’s had an inconsistent season in 2013.  He was the well-beaten favorite in his first start at Keeneland, and then stumbled at the start to finish seventh next time out on the Churchill turf.

Coalport stepping down to look for the win

Following that he did manage to capture the Swoon’s Son Stakes at Arlington, but was fifth in the Grade III Arlington Handicap, and sixth in the Who’s To Pay stakes. He did manage another win last time out in allowance company, but given his form in 2013 looks vulnerable here. Co-second choice at 5-1 is Coalport, who two starts ago got up late to take the Franklin-Simpson Mile, and then stepped up to Grade I company, finishing fifth behind multiple Grade I winner Silver Max and 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Shadwell Mile, a race that was moved off the turf.

Race could play to a couple of longshots

A 15-1 shot in here is Skyring, who only has one win to show for eight starts on the year, but that came in the Grade II Dixie Stakes, and he’s been facing much tougher competition than most of others in here, with four Grade I starts this season, including the Breeders’ Cup turf, where he was asked to go 3/8 of a mile further than he will on Saturday. An interesting outsider also at 15-1 is Kalamos, a Kentucky-bred who raced last year in France, but who won his first and only US start in a mid-allowance race at Keeneland that came off the turf.

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