River City Stakes Odds & Betting Predictions

A field of twelve will head down to post for this year’s renewal of the River City Stakes. With multiple Stakes winners in the field, the betting looks wide open with the Chad Brown trained Rockemperor expected to start as the slim favorite. 


River City Stakes

Grade 3, 1 mile and an eighth, turf, open to horses aged three and over. Total prize pool: $300,000

One of Churchill Downs final graded contests of the year, a fascinating renewal of the River City Stakes awaits. 

Likely to head the betting is Rockemperor, a former Grade 1 winner when victorious in the 2021 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, that was his last graded victory and the wins have been fleeting since. 

With just one win in his last eleven starts, there will be plenty of horses confident of taking him on.

One of those horses is Cellist. Like Rockemperor, he heads into the race looking to break a winless run, but did produce a good showing when finishing second in the 2023 Sycamore Stakes. A winner of the 2022 Louisville Stakes, he will be popular in the betting. 

Siege of Boston will be hoping to land a first career graded prize. 

Having mostly raced in Allowance company for much of 2023, he ran a fantastic race when finishing second in the 2023 National Thoroughbred League Handicap. He will need to run a big race to land this contest but looks capable of playing a leading role. 

The same can be said of Smokin’T who captured the 2023 Lure Stakes. As consistent as they come, he has only won two of his last seven starts but has failed to finish outside the top three in all of those races. Likely to start at a decent price, he looks a solid candidate. 

Another horse likely to represent some value is Grand Sonata. The winner of the 2022 Kitten’s Joy Stakes, things haven’t gone quite to plan since, as he has just won once in his last ten starts. Another who has been highly tried, his chances can’t be dismissed as his second place in the 2022 Dueling Grounds Derby is a nice piece of form. 

The winner of that race was Kitodan. Although impressive that day, he will be looking for his first victory since landing that prestigious prize and will start at a big price.

With several horses due to start as outsiders, one horse to keep an eye on is Dominican Pioneer. Trained by Wesley Ward, he was victorious in his last start, winning well in Allowance company. 

Yet to compete for any sort of Stakes race, he will be looking to land the biggest prize of his career and could be worth a small play. 

Completing the line up are F Five, Red Run, Stitched and Harlan Estate

2023 River City Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

This year’s River City Stakes is tricky to predict as several horses arrive out of form. Rockemperor easily boasts the best credentials but isn’t a prolific winner. Consistency can often be key in these sorts of contests and Smokin’T is likely to give you a real run for your money. 

HorseJockeyTrainerOdds from JazzSports
CellistMartin GarciaGeorge Arnold II+500
F FiveJames GrahamBrian Lynch+1200
Red RunRicardo SantanaMichael Maker+1200
RockemperorTyler GaffalioneChad Brown+400
KitodanAlex AchardEric Foster+1500
Smokin’TJohn VelazquezClaude McGaughey+600
Dominican PioneerGerardo CorralesWesley Ward+1000
Grand SonataLuis SaezTodd Pletcher+600
StitchedFlorent GerouxGregory Foley+1500
InjunctionRafael BejaranoCarlo Vaccarezza+1500
Siege of BostonJorge RuizJames Toner+450
Harlan EstateJoseph RamosD Whitworth Beckman+1500

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