Finest City

Finest City

Finest City was at her best when it mattered the most.

Still searching for her first Grade 1 victory, the 4-year-old filly went to the post as the fifth choice in the field of 13 for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). She spurted from the starting gate and dueled for the lead until gaining a slight advantage in upper stretch and holding off a determined challenge from last year’s winner Wavell Avenue for a three-quarter length victory. The triumph was her fourth in 14 career starts and second in the stakes ranks after winning the Great Lady M. Stakes (G2) at Los Alamitos on April 23.

Finest City is the first Breeders’ Cup starter for 28-year-old trainer Ian Kruljac, who has experience beyond his years as the son of successful trainer Eric Kruljac. He has just a handful of horses in his name while serving as a key assistant to his father.

Winning jockey Mike Smith praised the younger Kruljac’s preparation for the filly’s victory. He noted that Finest City was relaxed at cruising speed because she had made her previous start in a longer race on turf.

“(It) is really a good way to get a horse ready for a race like this,” said Smith.

Bred in Pennsylvania by HnR Nothhaft Horseracing, Finest City was sold for $50,000 as a weanling at Keeneland’s November sale. Tyler and Wayne Seltzer purchased her for $85,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale.

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