September 28, 2015
CITY ZIP’s 4yo gelding Alert Bay put himself in the mix for next month’s G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland with a stylish win in Sunday’s $200,000 G2 City of Hope Mile S. at Santa Anita. Off as a 4-1 chance under Mike Smith, Alert Bay raced along in a switched-off fourth early, launched a three-wide bid on the far turn and was up in plenty of time to win by a length in 1:33 2/5. Alert Bay earned a big 105 Beyer for the win.
“I’d certainly have to [think about Keeneland],” said winning trainer Blaine Wright. “We faced a good group of horses today and now we=ll get him back home, evaluate him, talk it over with [owner] Mr. [Peter] Redekop and see what goes on from there. This past month has done well for him. It’s almost like the switch gets flipped. It’s been a real pleasure to train this type of horse. I really hope the Breeders’ Cup is a possibility. This race should certainly let us think about it. He came out well and he wasn’t breathing too hard.”
A son of the Chilean champion miler Hickory (Chi), Alert Bay has been a model of versatility and consistency through his career—not unlike many other offspring by CITY ZIP. His City of Hope victory left his record at 9 wins form 19 starts, and pushed his earnings to $954,495
Alert Bay won the G2 Mathis Brothers Mile S. on turf last year, and the G3 British Columbia Derby and G3 BC Premier’s H. on dirt. He also set a new track record when he won the 2014 Zia Park Derby, at 1 1/16 miles, in 1:41.80.
“I’ve never had such a versatile, hard-hitting horse as him,” said Wright. “He can run on any surface. Obviously, he’s best on turf, but he can run on dirt and even Tapeta.”