Tommie Lewis’ promising juvenile Ten City followed his seven-length maiden in April with a professional 1 ½-length triumph as the 1-2 favorite in Friday night’s 116th running of the $100,000 Bashford Manor Presented by GE Appliances (Grade III) – the first of three stakes events on closing night of Churchill Downs’ 38-day Spring Meet.

Trained by Kenny McPeek and ridden by Robby Albarado, Ten City ran six furlongs over a fast main track in 1:10.45 to beat 7-5 second choice Copper Bullet.

“Kenny (McPeek) has always been high on this colt,” said Albarado, who also won the Bashford Manor with Limehouse in 2003 and Kantharos in 2010. He told me once he gets his legs stretched out he’ll come with a run. I saw the horse in front was stopping rather quickly so, I got my horse in a good position and everything worked out well today.”

I’m Corfu, a winner over Presque Isle Downs’ synthetic surface, broke fastest from the gate in the field of six 2-year-olds and led the way early with Fig Jelly showing speed and Copper Bullet advancing from the inside to put pressure on the leader after a first quarter mile in :21.97. Breaking from post No. 6, Ten City hopped in the air at start but quickly recovered to settle a couple of lengths off the leaders and raced in the clear on the outside.

As the horses entered the far turn, Copper Bullet briefly dropped back as I’m Corfu spurted clear, but Ten City was a menacing presence as he ranged up on the outside. Ten City took the lead as he exited the turn, clocked a half-mile in :45.28 and never looked back. Copper Bullet re-rallied once he shifted away from the inside and kept trying the down the lane but was no match for the winner in the end.

“It was just a tough trip,” said Copper Bullet’s rider Florent Geroux. “He worked his way up there on the inside and there was a lot of stuff going on in very a short field. He ran great. He was probably the best today, but the trip didn’t help.”

Ten City’s triumph was worth $62,000 and increased his bankroll to $98,000 with a perfect record in two starts. Previously, Ten City was a dominant and runaway winner at Keeneland when he won his 4 ½-furlong debut on April 19 in :51.34 while in hand.

“I was so proud to pick a horse this talented out of the (yearling) auction for only $12,000,” McPeek said. “This horse has shown a lot of talent throughout the early stages of his career. It’s a horse that trainers dream to be around. I’ve sort of changed up my training over the last couple of years with these younger horses so there’s a good chance we’ll take it easy on him over the summer and wait to run him next in the Iroquois.”

The $150,000 Iroquois (GIII), a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs on Sept. 16, is typically the first scoring race on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” – the series of races that will ultimately determine the field for the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

As for Copper Bullet, his Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen said the trip “was not what we were hoping. He’s a good horse and hopefully we’ll get on track.”

Ten City is a 2-year-old son of Run Away and Hide out of the Rock Hard Ten mare Maiden America. He was bred in Kentucky by Phillips Racing Partnership.

Ten City returned $3, $2.10 and $2.10. Copper Bullet paid $2.20 and $2.10 and finished 6 ¾ lengths in front of Texas-invader Hardworkcleanlivin who paid $2.10 to show under Corey Lanerie.

Fig Jelly and I’m Corfu completed the order of finish. Mo Diddley was scratched.

First run in 1902, the Bashford Manor is named for the former Louisville Thoroughbred breeding and racing farm that dominated the American racing scene in the early 1900s. George J. Long, a wealthy foundry owner, purchased Bashford Manor Farm in 1887 and developed his Thoroughbred operation that provided him two Derby wins as an owner, 1892 (Azra) and 1906 (Sir Huon), and three as a breeder, 1892 (Azra), 1899 (Manuel) and 1906 (Sir Huon). In addition, Bashford Manor also won the Kentucky Oaks in 1894 (Selika) and 1915 (Kathleen). The original Wilder family owned Bashford Manor. The Wilders were direct descendants of Lord Baltimore, whose English home was also called Bashford Manor. Long died in 1930 and the farm was eventually sold in 1973 to make way for the development of a mall complex, fittingly named Bashford Manor, that formally closed in 2003.

Last year’s Bashford Manor winner was eventual 2-year-old champion Classic Empire, who most-recently ran second in the Preakness Stakes (GI).

BASHFORD MANOR QUOTES

ROBBY ALBARADO, jockey of TEN CITY (winner): “Kenny (McPeek) has always been high on this colt. He told me once he gets his legs stretched out he’ll come with a run. I saw the horse in front was stopping rather quickly so, I got my horse in a good position and everything worked out well today.”

KENNY McPEEK, trainer of TEN CITY (winner): “I was so proud to pick a horse this talented out of the auction for only $12,000. This horse has shown a lot of talent throughout the early stages of his career. It’s a horse that trainers dream to be around. I’ve sort of changed up my training over the last couple of years with these younger horses so there’s a good chance we’ll take it easy on him over the summer and wait to run him next in the Iroquois.”

STEVE ASMUSSEN, trainer of COPPER BULLET (runner-up): “(The trip) was not what we were hoping. He’s a good horse and hopefully we’ll get on track.”

FLORENT GEROUX, jockey of COPPER BULLET (runner-up): “It was just a tough trip. He worked his way up there on the inside and there was a lot of stuff going on in very a short field. He ran great. He was probably the best today, but the trip didn’t help.”

Sign up for race updates, wagering tips, and inside news
Thank you to our sponsor