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River City Stakes Betting – Villandry Comes Up Huge On Saturday

Posted by on 11/5/2014 9:14:56 PM

The Grade-3 River City Stakes takes place at Churchill Downs as the horse racing schedule winds down, and it is for male horses aged three and up. It is run over 1 1/8 miles on turf, and there is a purse of $100,000 up for grabs.

One horse seems to stand out from the rest of the field, but he will come up short as Villandry heads to the winner’s circle.

What: Horse Betting

When: Saturday, November 8th, post time 4:37 PM ET

Where: Churchill Downs, Lexington, KY

Pick: Villandry

Aldous Snow hails from Canada and is coming off a sixth-place run at the Grade-1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes in September, so he should be well rested. He did manage to win the Grade-3 Singspiel in July, but this five-year-old will need a much better effort to place in the top three of this solid field.

Dramedy is making just his seventh career start at five years old, and he has never run in a graded-stakes race, so expectations should be low. He has a first and a second in three turf races, but they were just allowance races, so don’t expect much.

Gentleman’s Kitten followed up a fourth at the Grade-3 Fair Grounds Handicap with a fifth at the Grade-1 Maker’s 46 Mile, but that was back in April, and you have to wonder if this four-year-old will be rusty on Saturday. He does have three wins in 10 starts, but they have all been allowance races, so this colt might be in over his head.

Greengrassofyoming has made 22 starts, but they have all been maiden/allowance/clearance races. The one thing that he has going for him is that most of his starts have been on turf, so he will be used to the surface, but the speed simply might not be there for this four-year-old, which at least has the best name in the field.

Guys Reward finished eighth in this race in 2012, then took a year off and returned in 2014 to race seven times, finishing in the top three just twice, but one was a win at the Grade-3 Oceanport Stakes in July. This horse might be the one to challenge the favorite in this race, but he is seven years old, so that has to be taken into account.

Hamp has made 13 starts in his career, but just one of those came in a graded-stakes event, the Grade-2 Dixie in May in which he finished fifth. That followed his lone win, which came in the non-graded Henry S. Clark, so he has finished in the top five in each of his last five starts. However, this four-year-old has to find another gear to compete with the best in this field on Saturday.

R. Great Adventure has made 14 starts, 13 of which have been maiden/allowance/clearance races, although he did finish third at the non-graded More Than Ready Mile in September. It would be a major accomplishment if this four-year-old could finish in the top three, but it would also be a very risky bet.

Set The Sail is back after finishing second to Potomac River in this race last year, and he has just one top-three in four starts this year, a win in an allowance race. He has finished outside of the top three in the other three starts, and this five-year-old gelding finishing sixth at the non-graded Opening Verse in April. Like many other horses in this field, Set The Sail has to step up it up a gear.

Silver Max is probably the favorite for Saturday’s race, and he started 2014 with a win at the Grade-2 Firecracker Handicap in June. However, he has followed it up with a sixth at the Grade-2 Fourstardave Handicap and a fifth at the Grade-1 Shadwell Turf Mile, and he hasn’t run over a mile since winning the Shadwell last October. Keep an eye on this five-year-old down the stretch.

Under Control hails from Brazil, but he has raced in North America for his entire career. He is coming off a fifth at the non-graded Laurel Turf Cup in September, and he finished third in his lone graded-stakes start, the Oceanport in July. This six-year-old is an intriguing option.

Villandry is coming off a third at the Grade-3 Sycamore, which followed a fourth at the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes, and he finished fourth in this race last year. He has finished in the top three once in five graded-stakes starts, but this five-year-old could be a good pick on Saturday.

How It Will Play Out

Silver Max has the speed, but might tire down the stretch and leave the door open for Villandry to snatch the win.

River City Stakes Betting Pick: Villandry

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