Wed, 01/03/2018 - 11:42

Young stallion Quality Road has already been represented this year by the likes of expected Eclipse Award winners Abel Tasman and Caledonia Road, and the leading fourth-crop sire picked up another Grade I for good measure as the lightly raced City of Light pulled off a minor 7-1 upset in Tuesday’s Malibu S. at Santa Anita. Cal-bred Edwards Going Left (Midnight Lute) was second with New York invader and ‘TDN Rising Star’Favorable Outcome (Flatter) completing the trifecta. Hard-ridden from the rail to eventually make his way to the front, the $710,000 KEESEP yearling spurted clear down the backside through a :44.82 half. Edwards Going Left tried to make a race of it up the fence, but City of Light found another gear and opened back up late to strike the line two lengths to the good.

Tuesday, Santa Anita MALIBU S.-GI, $301,380, SA, 12-26, 3yo, 7f, 1:21.21, ft. 1–CITY OF LIGHT, 120, c, 3, by Quality Road

1st Dam: Paris Notion, by Dehere 2nd Dam: Fabulous Notion, by Somethingfabulous 3rd Dam: Careless Notion, by Jester 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN, 1ST GRADE I WIN. ($710,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Mr & Mrs William Warren, Jr.; B-Ann Marie Farm (KY); T-Michael W. McCarthy; J-Drayden Van Dyke. $180,000. Lifetime Record: 5-2-3-0, $250,600. *1/2 to Pointsman (Mt. Livermore), SP, $212,417. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. 2–Edwards Going Left, 120, g, 3, Midnight Lute–Dypsy, by Broken Vow. O-Hronis Racing LLC; B-Red Baron’s Barn & Vaya Con Suerte (CA); T-John W. Sadler. $60,000. 3–Favorable Outcome, 122, c, 3, Flatter–Shananies Song, by Eltish. ($300,000 2yo ’16 OBSMAR). O-Klaravich Stables, Inc. & William Lawrence; B-Charles T. Matses (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $36,000.Margins: 2, 1, 2HF. Odds: 7.50, 14.20, 3.90. Also Ran: Pavel, Irish Freedom, C Z Rocket, Dabster, Heartwood, The Street Fighter. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

“First of all, [trainer Mike McCarthy] was very confident going into the race based on his recent works,” said Drayden Van Dyke, who rode City of Light for the first time in the Malibu. “Being in the one hole, I just had to make sure I got him out fast. He broke solid, and I got to set the pace. He responded well–he wanted to take off.”

Second on debut at Los Alamitos in July, City of Light romped by 7 1/2 lengths back at Del Mar Sept. 1. He was far from disgraced when taking on older rivals in a local optional claimer Oct. 7, finishing second to subsequent Damascus S. hero Americanize (Concord Point). City of Light was most recently second to fellow Malibu entrant Dabster (Curlin) going this distance at Del Mar Nov. 3.

“This horse has a lot of natural ability,” said McCarthy, a former assistant of Todd Pletcher’s. “I’ve had a lot of faith in this horse from the first day I saw him at Keeneland as a September yearling. He’s a big horse and it took him awhile to come to himself. When a horse is doing good, you gotta go… You gotta take a shot. I’m very thankful to Mr. Warren. He won the Breeders’ Cup Classic with Saint Liam and he was the first one to go with me when I went out on my own. With a horse like this, who’s got a lot of natural speed, you let him go ahead and showcase.”

Pedigree Notes:

The sixth Grade I winner for his sire and the second of trainer Mike McCarthy’s career after Illuminant, who coincidentally is also by Quality Road, City of Light is a half-brother to SPs Pointsman (Mt. Livermore) and Exotic Notion (Lemon Drop Kid). He is the seventh winner and first stakes winner from eight foals to race out of the unraced Paris Notion (Dehere). A daughter of GI Santa Susana S. heroine Fabulous Notion (Somethingfabulous), she is a half-sister to GI Test S. heroine Fabulously Fast (Deputy Minister). Fabulous Notion is a half-sister to GI Turf Classic H. hero Cacoethes (Alydar) and listed winner & MGSP Margaret Booth (Well Decorated).

Fellow Grade I winners Subordination (Mt. Livermore), Careless Jewel (Tapit) and Java’s War (War Pass), as well as champion grass mare Fiji (GB) (Rainbow Quest) are under the third dam.

City of Light, a $710,000 KEESEP yearling and the most expensive of his sire’s yearlings to sell in 2015, is bred on a similar cross to MGISW and 2017 GI Kentucky Oaks victress Abel Tasman (Quality Road) and GIII Red Smith H. hero Spring Quality (Quality Road), who are out of Deputy Minister mares. Dehere is not the only son of Deputy Minister proving effective with Quality Road, as French Deputy (Deputy Minister) is also the broodmare sire of Quality Road’s GIII Bay Shore S. victor Long Haul Bay. Dehere aided in the Malibu exacta too, as the runner-up Edwards Going Left is by Hill ‘n’ Dale resident and champion sprinter Midnight Lute (Quiet American), who is out of Dehere’s daughter Candytuft.