January 23, 2021

Admission Office, Mr. Misunderstood among 10 in River City

Keeneland Racing
Admission Office (left) won a Keeneland allowance in his 2019 season opener (Coady Photography)

Admission Office will seek his initial stakes win and Mr. Misunderstood is making a title defense in Saturday’s $175,000 River City H. (G3) at Churchill Downs. Ten older horses will line up for the 1 1/8-mile turf test.

RELATED: The River City Stakes betting tipsheet

He does not get away from the gate fast, but Admission Office packs a late punch. The four-year-old colt overcame trouble to post a fast-closing second to Catholic Boy in the Dixie (G2) on the Preakness undercard and missed by the same margin when third in the Wise Dan (G2) under the Twin Spires a month later. Brian Lynch trains and Jose Ortiz will be in to ride the late-running specialist.

Mr. Misunderstood has shown an affinity for the Churchill Downs turf, winning four-of-five starts including a half-length score in the 2018 River City. The five-year-old will face deeper competition and hasn’t been as successful this season, dropping all four starts, but the Brad Cox-trained gelding does exit an encouraging runner-up effort in the Remington Green in late September. Regular rider Florent Geroux has the call.

Mike Maker will send out three runners. Remington Green winner Space Mountain heads the trio and adds the services of Ricardo Santana Jr. Bemma’s Boy steps up to face stakes foes off a Keeenland allowance win and Julien Leparoux picks up the mount. Cullum Road recorded a closing third in the Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup (G3) two back and Tyler Gaffalione will guide.

Other contestants include Grade 2 runner-up Emmaus, who exits a Keeneland allowance victory; and front-running stakes victor Get Western.