Sire Profile: City Zip

by Bob Schless

City Zip is 5th in total earnings for North American sires this year (133 winners so far, 1st place), 6th in 1012, and 21st in 2010. So why is his stud fee only $25,000 when he was ahead Tiznow ($75,000) and A.P Indy ($150,000) in 2010 and Malibu Moon ($75,000) and Distorted Humor ($100,000) in 2012? All I know is that from City Zip you are getting horses who shine on the turf and are impressive right from the start. City Zip has sired 53 stakes winners including 18 graded stakes winners. He is another sire who I have featured that improves his mares. City Zip is known to add speed to his offspring and even though his AWD is only 6.47 furlongs he does have winners up to 9 1/2 furlongs on all 3 surfaces.

City Zip Has a lifetime juvenile win rate of 21%. He is ranked 31st in total two-year-old earnings this year, 21st in 2013, and 17th in 2011. Some of his best two-year-old runners have been Gal About Town (G2 Pocahontas Stakes), Majestic City (3rd Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity, 2nd Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity), Gleam of Hope (Grade 3 Jefferson Cup and Run Away and Hide (Grade 3 Kentucky Juvenile and Grade 2 Saratoga Special).

It is as a turf and all weather sire that City Zip has really made a name for himself. Here are his rankings in recent years for earnings on turf: 13th in 2014, 18th in 2013, 6th in 2012, 10th in 2011 and 4th in 2010. His best turf horses include the following: City Style (millionaire, multiple Graded Stakes placed in UAE), Get Serious (millionaire, multiple Grade 3 winner), Unzip Me ($950,000 earnings, multiple Grade 3 winner), Dayatthespa ($950,000 earnings, Grade One Queen Elizabeth’s II Challenge Cup Stakes) and Reneesgotzip (3rd in Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 2012, 2nd in 2013). As an all weather sire he has produced as well with top 25 in earnings over the past 4 years. What is brilliant about City Zip is that his top earner to date, sprinter Palace (Grade One Vanderbilt and Forego winner this year), is a dirt horse. So is Bustin Stones (G1 Carter Handicap, undefeated in 6 races). This shows that you can’t pigeon hole City Zip as simply a turf producing horse. City Zip has not been much of an international sire, but he gave us Dana My Love (Multiple Grade 1 winner in Puerto Rico, producer in USA) and City Style (million dollar earner in Europe and UAE).

City Zip was purchased for a mere $9,500 at a January Keenland sale. He is the leading sire from the Chef de Race horse Carson City, who sired 100 stakes winners and was the son of Mr. Prospector. What made City Zip’s pedigree more special was when his mom, Baby Zip, became the 2005 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year and produced Hall of Famer Ghostzapper (winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic and currently a successful sire). He is also a half brother to Canadian Grade 3 winner City Wolf. You can see why he has produced many short distance types and where the early prowess comes from, but why has he been such a prolific turf producer.  Note that his broodmare sire, Relaunch, was a front-runner who stayed 12F when second to John Henry in the G1 San Luis Rey on turf, and his third dam is by turf champion Hawaii (also sired Epsom Derby Champion Henbit).

City Zip was a very durable horse during his racing career, running 23 times (winning 9) between 2 and 3 years of age and earning over $800,000. He was trained by Linda Rice. At two he won the Grade 1 Hopeful and Grade 2 Saratoga Special, Sanford and Grade 3 Tremont Stakes. At 3 he won the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes, Grade 3 Jersey Shore Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the Bergen County and Hirsch Jacobs Stakes. He also ran 3rd in The G2 Kelso on turf.

I see City Zip as a well rounded, do it all sire who has shown that his offspring can run with the best of them on any surface.. Why his stud fee is where it’s at I do not know. But with the year he’s having with the likes of Palace and Personal Diary (winner Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks), I would be buying now because I see his stud fee going nowhere but up.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is an 18-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.


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