Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, was a big day for Seltzer Thoroughbreds’ millionaire Finest City. That afternoon, the 5-year-old City Zip mare won her first race of the year, the Santa Monica (G2) at Santa Anita, for trainer Ian Kruljac. That evening at Gulfstream Park, Finest City received the 2016 Eclipse Award as champion female sprinter for a season that culminated with a victory in her most recent race, the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita in November.
In the 7-furlong Santa Monica, contested over a wet fast track, Finest City was the 2-5 favorite against four older fillies and mares. She and jockey Mike Smith broke well from their inside post and drew off from a stubborn Fantastic Style a sixteenth of a mile from home to win by 3¾ lengths.
Bred in Pennsylvania by HnR Nothhaft Horseracing LLC, Finest City is a graduate of two Keeneland sales. Hunter Valley Farm, agent, consigned her as a weanling to the 2012 November Breeding Stock Sale, where Cobra Farm purchased her for $50,000. Bluewater Sales, agent, consigned Finest City the following year to the September Yearling Sale, where she sold for $85,000 to Kruljac’s father, Eric, agent for Seltzer Thoroughbreds.