City of Light hustled to the lead leaving the starting gate and was never threatened in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Churchill Downs, scoring by an easy 2 3/4 lengths. Now a three-time Grade 1 winner for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr., the Michael McCarthy trainee added the services of Javier Castellano and stopped the teletimer in a snappy 1:33.83.
Off as the 5-2 second choice among nine rivals, City of Light led by about a length through opening splits in :22.64 and :45.16. The four-year-old widened his advantage rounding the far turn and reached the top of the stretch with a three-length cushion. He cruised to the wire as much the best.
The anticipated match-up between City of Light and 4-5 favorite Catalina Cruiser never materialized as the latter veered out at the start and was never a factor checking in sixth.
City of Light opened his raced career on July 2017 and made his stakes debut a winning one in the Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita last December. He came back from a 2 1/2-month freshening to capture the Triple Bend (G1), prevailing by a neck over Acclerate, but his win streak came to an end when stretching out to 1 1/4 miles with a third in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) in late May.
The bay was exiting a runner-up in the August 25 Forego (G1) at Saratoga and City of Light has now earned $1,667,600 from a 10-5-4-1 ledger.
“I can’t tell you how long I have been waiting for this,” McCarthy said. “I always thought it this would be a mismatch. I have been looking forward to this for quite a long time. I thought he would love this racetrack. Backing up to one turn where his best races were, I thought he would run away and hide and he did just that.”
Seeking the Soul closed well for second at 10-1, 2 ½ lengths better than 14-1 Bravazo in third. Firenze Fire came another six lengths back in fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Ann Marie Farm, City of Light was purchased for $710,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. His dam, the unraced Dehere mare Paris Notion, counts the Grade 1-winning sprinter Fabulously Fast as a half-sister.