Staying home to run could be what Mr. Misunderstood needs to resume his winning ways when he heads a field of eight in Saturday’s $100,000 River City H. (G3) at Churchill Downs.
The Brad Cox trainee was a hot commodity at three, winning his first eight starts on turf, including the Jefferson Cup and Commonwealth Turf (G3) at Churchill. Although less dominant facing older this term, the Archarcharch colt improved to three-for-three under the Twin Spires taking the Wise Dan (G2) by a half-length in June.
“He’s not the biggest horse in the world but he’s a good mover,” jockey Florent Geroux said. “We had the perfect trip in the spring (in the Wise Dan) when I got him covered up behind horses.”
Mr. Misunderstood will attempt to reverse recent form under higher weights when third in the Tourist Mile at Kentucky Downs and sixth in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland. He sheds five pounds from the latter race and will carry 121 in the River City.
Cox also sends out Big Changes, who enters on a five-race win streak that includes stakes wins at Evangeline Downs, Mountaineer, and Louisiana Downs. He was a game winner against Keeneland allowance foes by a neck last time.
Trainer Mike Maker has entered multiple Grade 3 winner Oscar Nominated, who shortens up to 1 1/8 miles here after running longer for much of the past two seasons. The Ken and Sarah Ramsey colors will also be sported by 2016 Queen’s Plate winner Sir Dudley Digges, most recently third to Arklow in the Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup at Ellis Park in August.
Grade 3 veteran Postulation finished third in the Laurel Turf Cup and second in the restricted Point of Entry at Belmont in his first two attempts since joining the Michael Matz barn. The Joe Sharp-trained Team Colors, a close fifth in the 2017 River City, returns to stakes company after winning first off the claim in a Keeneland allowance for his present connections.