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ICYMI – Unity comes to the fore in Ontario horse racing… https://horse-canada.com/thoroughblog/unity/
SHAK IS BACK!
It was a long time coming for a gorgeous dark bay who went into his 3-year-old season in 2015 hailed as the next superstar but SHAKHIMAT is now realizing his earlier potential.
Dan Gale’s Lonhro 4-year-old, also owned in partnership by Bill Werner and Roger Attfield, who just joined up with Gale on the horse (Richard Hogan owned with Gale through the horse’s previous race), won the Grade 3 Tropical Park Turf, worth $100,000, at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
Racing for just the fourth time outside of his native Canada and first at Gulfstream Park, Shakhimat cruised to the lead after a half-mile and kept rolling, hangin on bby 3/4 of a length to win the one mile turf stake.
His time of 1:36.03 was good for a 101 Beyer Figure, his second, triple-digit Beyer in his last 3 starts.
Trainer Attfield also had Tower of Texas finish third in the race.
Western Reserve was fastest from the gate and was in front through a quarter-mile in 25.10 seconds, flanked by Shakhimat to his right. Jockey Edgard Zayas gave the 4-year-old Ontario-bred gelding his cue leaving the backstretch and they met no resistance, going the half in 49.74. Zayas had plenty left to repel a bevy of late challengers and give Shakhimat his first third career stakes win including the 2016 Transylvania (G3) at Keeneland.
Shakhimat now owns five wins and nearly $400,000 in purse earnings from 16 career starts.
Tropical Turf (G3) Quotes
Trainer Roger Attfield (Shakhimat, 1st; Tower of Texas, 3rd): “The way the form looked to me, [Shakhimat] looked like the only true speed in the race and I was in pretty good position, really, because my other horse is a come-from-behind horse. He likes a lot of speed in front of him. He didn’t really have enough speed in front of him. When I saw the first half-mile of the race and looked at the fractions, I said it’s all over as far as I’m concerned. His ears go up and he starts running that way. It worked out perfect, except we should have been second, too.”
“There’s a race called the Fort Lauderdale [G2, $200,000, Jan. 13] that we’ll look at. I don’t want to keep running the two against each other if we can help it but one of them will be in there and it’ll probably be [Shakhimat].”
Jockey Edgard Zayas (Shakhimat): “I was planning to stalk the pace and try to go as slow as we can and we went pretty
slow the first quarter. I didn’t want to keep fighting him so I just put my hands down and let him roll from there. Once he got the lead he was just playing around. He ran a huge race and I’m very happy for the opportunity to ride him.”
SHAKHIMAT now enters contention as Champion Turf Male in Canada with this stakes win. He was bred by Adena Springs and is from the mare Reggae Rose, by Touch Gold.
HIGHEST BEYER FIGURES BY ONTARIO-BREDS IN 2017
112 SHAMAN GHOST (Ghostzapper)
108 STILL KRZ (Old Forester)
108 SHAMAN GHOST
107 RANSOM THE MOON (Malibu Moon)
106 SHAMAN GHOST
106 PINK LLOYD
104 BREAKING LUCKY
104 HEART TO HEART
104 HEART TO HEART
104 HEART TO HEART
104 CALGARY CAT
103 PINK LLOYD
103 CALGARY CAT
102 SHAMAN GHOST
102 BREAKING LUCKY
102 TOWER OF TEXAS
102 CALGARY CAT
102 PINK LLOYD
101 SHAFT OF LIGHT
101 HEART TO HEART
101 HEART TO HEART
101 PINK LLOYD
101 MR HAVERCAMP
FAIR GROUNDS – New Dimension?
Old Woodbine friend defeats Dudley and Birds
from Fair Grounds – Riverside Bloodstock’s seasoned veteran Dimension (GB) showed that age is far from an issue when the 9-year-old gelding lit up the tote board at odds of 39-1 the 1 1/16-miles Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course for trainer Conor Murphy.
Breaking from post four under James Graham, Dimension did not come out of the gate well but managed to sit second while Turbo Street (Aus) took control of the pace in the early stages and threw down splits of 25.11, 50.75 and 1:15.15 while the eventual winner tracked in the top tier alongside Thatcher Street and Saham. Approaching the top of the stretch Turbo Street began to give way while Dimension asserted himself to the front. Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Mike Maker-trained Sir Dudley Digges made a big move down the stretch but could not catch the eventual winner who completed the race in a time of 1:46.07. Agave Racing Stable and Sam-Son Farm’s Up With The Birds took the show spot under Jamie Theriot for trainer Michelle Lovell.
“He broke horrible,” Graham said. “He ran off around the first turn and still won the race with room to spare. I thought I’d be on the lead by myself. He was running off on me, but I didn’t want to choke him, so I just said, ‘Okay, whatever you’re comfortable with.’”
The Diliberto was Dimension’s first victory since last year’s Gr. II King Edward Stakes at Woodbine. The $45,000 winner’s share brought his career bankroll up to $617,496 and has now won eight of his 41 lifetime starts. He returned $81.80, $27.40 and $12.20. Sir Dudley Digges paid $5.60 and $3.80, while Up With the Birds returned $7.40.
GIADA VEGAS enters Sovereign Awards picture
from Fair Grounds – Dixiana Farms’ Giada Vegas ($12.80, $6.20 and $4.20) sat off of a slow pace but made up enough ground in the stretch drive to capture her first stakes victory in the Blushing K.D. Stakes.
Guided by Corey Lanerie and trained by Mark Casse, the 4-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy sat fifth off the pace while Michael Meeks’ Vagabond Princess led the way in slow opening fractions of 24.91, 50.61 and 1:15.59. Darrell and Sadie Brommer’s Neil Pessin-trained favorite Prado’s Sweet Ride sat just behind the pacesetter with longshot Shes a True Beauty in third. At the top of the stretch, Vagabond Princess maintained her lead until she was run down by Giada Vegas who stopped the clock in a time of 1:46.62 for the 1 1/16-miles event over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course while clear by a length. 13-1 longshot Joyous Thunder ($9.60 and $5) closed to get second while Prado’s Sweet Ride ($2.40) finished another neck back in third.
“I just rode her where I found her,” Lanerie said. “She shows that she has no speed so I just wanted to give her a good trip and give her the best opportunity to finish and it worked out well.”
The Blushing K.D. was the fourth consecutive victory for Giada Vegas, who entered the turf event off of a trio of victories over the Tapeta at Woodbine. She earned $45,000 to boost her bankroll to $196,333 in her fifth win in 15 lifetime starts.
She now lands on the list of contenders for Champion Older Mare in Canada.
PEGASUS WORLD CUP
9 SLOTS SOLD, STRONACH BUYS LAST 3
with files from Paulick Report:
1 – Gun Runner’s ownership group (Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm) officially purchased a slot in the starting gate on Thursday
2- Gary and Mary West purchased a slot for Travers and Pennsylvania Derby winner West Coast
3 – Speedway Stable bought a slot on behalf of Pacific Classic winner Collected
4 – The slot owned by Dean Reeves will be filled by Al Shaqab’s Toast of New York
5- Ron Paolucci ran War Story in last year’s edition, and will either enter him again for 2018 or run his stablemate
6- The slot owned by Coolmore Stud could likely be filled by Stellar Wind; the group purchased her at Keeneland November and she is currently in training with Chad Brown in Florida
7- William Gallo and Bella Inizio Farm, explained by a release to be partners in the ownership of a slot, reached a deal with the connections of Gunnevera to run the Antonio Sano trainee in the Pegasus
8- Frank Stronach himself owns one spot in the gate, though it is unknown what horse might occupy that start
9 – Charles Fipke reportedly purchased a spot in the starting gate just before the deadline on Friday; he will likely start homebred Clark Handicap winner Seeking the Soul, as Distaff winner Forever Unbridled is no longer under consideration for the race
10-12 – Stronach purchased
DAILY RACING FORM’s take..
“If The Stronach Group buys three slots, the company will be placed in a position of negotiating for horses in competition, theoretically, with the other individual slot holders, which could raise a number of issues relating to conflicts of interest.”