Copper set to be Shining in River City Handicap

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November 22nd, 2017

Shining Copper heads to Churchill Downs this Thanksgiving to seek his first graded stakes victory in the 1 1/8-mile River City Handicap (G3) on turf.

The Irish-bred was one of the better turf gallopers in 2015, finishing fourth in the United Nations Handicap (G1) and third in the Arlington Million (G1). He finished second in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) in February 2016, but has been limited to just four starts since.

This year he didn’t return until Sept. 6 at Kentucky Downs, where he finished third in the Tourist Mile Stakes behind Applicator, who reopposes him here. Shining Copper backed that effort up with a 3 ¼-length victory in a Keeneland allowance Oct. 15. Corey Lanerie has the mount.

Among the 13 opponents for Shining Copper is another to have had a light year, War Correspondent. He ran three times in Florida in the first part of the year, winning the Miami Mile Stakes (G3) and finishing third in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, and at his only start since finished third in the Presque Isle Mile Stakes Sept. 17.

Kasaqui will be fancied by many given his good record at Churchill Downs. This year he won the Wise Dan Stakes (G2) and finished fourth in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1), both under the Twin Spires. He warmed up for this race with a fourth-place finish in an allowance race at Keeneland; two of the horses that finished ahead of him that day, Coco Mon (first) and Thatcher Street (third, and the winner of this race last year) oppose him again.

Former Brazilian galloper Some in Tieme was an easy winner of the 1 ½-mile Louisville Handicap (G3) in May; he should be better for his eighth-place finish in the Sycamore Stakes (G3) at Keeneland Oct. 19, but there will be a question of whether the 1 1/8 miles is too short for him.

Tourist Mile winner Applicator and Revved Up, an allowance winner at Churchill Downs Nov. 11, will have their backers, while an outsider that could be worth considering for multiples is Christian C, whose only race in stakes company was an 11th in much tougher company in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) last month.