11/22/2004 12:00AM

G P Fleet takes River City Handicap


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - G P Fleet, a versatile 4-year-old gelding who has run equally well on the Churchill Downs dirt and turf courses, got a good trip in running another big race Sunday when upsetting the Grade 3, $174,300 at Churchill.

With Jose Martinez Jr. substituting for Eddie Martin Jr., who took another mount in the race, G P Fleet rallied from fifth in the field of 12 older horses to prevail by a half-length over Cloudy's Knight. The winner returned $26.60 after finishing 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.26 over a yielding turf.

G P Fleet, owned by Bert, Elaine, and Richard Klein and trained by Steve Flint, now has three wins and two seconds from five starts on the Churchill turf. In his previous start, the Florida-bred gelding won a main-track allowance by 7 1/2 lengths.

Cloudy's Knight, a 16-1 shot, finished another 5 1/4 lengths ahead of Ay Caramba, who had a nose on Deputy Strike, ridden by Martin. Honor In War, the 118-pound highweight, was fifth, while Warleigh, the 5-2 favorite, was seventh, and Dr. Kashnikow, a two-time River City winner, was last.

The Kleins and Flint barely missed Saturday in the Cardinal Handicap when their longshot mare, May Gator, was beaten just a nose for win by Aud.