Battle of Hastings Takes on Defending Champ Rahystrada in River City

Oct 31, 2010 Gary Yunt

Michael House's Battle of Hastings (GB), a three-time graded stakes winner on the turf in his career, tops a field of nine older turf stars entered to compete in the 33rd running of the $100,000-added River City Handicap (Grade III) Thursday at Churchill Downs.

The River City, to be run at 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course, will go as the 11th race on Thursday's 12-race program with an approximate post time of 5:43 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post time is 12:40 p.m.

Now trained by Greg Fox, Battle of Hastings won the Baldwin (GIII) at Santa Anita in March 2009 and that summer won the Colonial Turf Cup (GII) and Virginia Derby (GII) at Colonial Downs. In his most recent start, Battle of Hastings ran fourth over the synthetic Polytrack surface in the Pacific Classic (GI) won by Richard's Kid at Del Mar.

Battle of Hastings will break from post position three under Joel Rosario and carry high weight of 121 pounds.

Also in the field is defending champion Rahystrada, owned by Robert Courtney Jr. Trained by Byron Hughes, Rahystrada scored in last year's race at odds of 56-1 under Leandro Goncalves, who will be back aboard Thursday. Rahystrada will carry 119 pounds and break from post position one.

The field for the River City Handicap, from the inside out, is as follows: Rahystrada (Goncalves, 119 pounds), Ready Set (Jamie Theriot, 114), Battle of Hastings (GB) (Rosario, 121), Boots Ahead (Garrett Gomez, 115), Allie's Event (Jeremy Rose, 115), Schramsberg (Ramsey Zimmerman, 115), Midnight Mischief (Julien Leparoux, 114), Expansion (Shaun Bridgmohan, 119) and Wise River (Calvin Borel, 114).

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