Shamrocket Aces Dirt Test in Sunshine Millions Classic

Although it had never started on the dirt in the previous 21 trips to the post in its four racing seasons, Donegal Racing’s Clover bulldozed his way through the center of the Gulfstream Park track for pasting a game Mr Ollie close to the wire in the $75,000 Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes on January 15.

“(Shamrocket has) always trained well on (dirt), and we were kind of looking for the right time to try,” Hall of Fame coach Todd Pletcher said. “I spoke to (Donegal boss) Jerry Crawford and decided to go ahead and give it a try. It might open up some options for him. I think he’s a horse that could even handle some of those races longer dirt races, marathon type dirt races, on the road. I’m happy for the horse and proud of him for doing the job.”

The Sunshine Millions Classic, as well as the Sunshine Millions Sprint Stakes later on the card, put Florida horses in the spotlight on Saturday’s card.

Five-year-old Shamrocket competed in the Sunshine Millions Classic, a 1 1/8 mile test for kids ages 4 and up, as the grass stakes winner. There are two starts, he won the 1 1/2 mile entry point stakes at Belmont Park before finishing fifth, beaten by 1 3/4 length, in the Red Smith Stakes (G2T) from November 20 to Aqueduct Racecourse.

As 6-5 favorites against six relatively unfinished rivals in the Classic, Shamrocket benefited from a patient ride from jockey Javier Castellano, as the pair waited for fourth place thanks to early splits of: 24.81 and: 49.71. In the front, Greater Venezuela and second choice Sir Ollie took turns taking the lead before Sir Ollie put that foe away and contested command with a 43-1 shot Nacho Pope as the field charged around the final corner and into the lane. Meanwhile, Castellano guided Shamrocket four wide for the stretch run and the bay closed relentlessly, wearing down Sir Ollie in the final strides for a half-length triumph.

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Shamrocket was clocked in 1:52.26 on a fast track. Nacho Papa was third.

“I had a perfect trip. I didn’t want to go too far because he’s the type of horse at a race. I didn’t want him to think too much and not get too dirty to face. or get bounced on your first dirt run,” Castellano said.

Raised in Florida by Rustlewood Farm, Shamrocket is the hero of the Belmont Stakes (G1) Tonalist and out of storm cat big Zehoor . He’s a half-brother to the winner of the stakes Believe in Charlie and hails from the Grade 1 winner’s family Nany’s sweep and winning graduated stakes She’s Indy Money . Dam of six winners of seven foals to run, Zehoorr also has a yearling colt by Tiznow and was raised to hard spun for 2022.

Donegal Racing bought Shamrocket for $130,000 at the September 2018 Keeneland Yearling Sale from Summerfield Consignment. The horse has earnings of $465,230 and a 5-6-7 record in 22 starts.

Video: Sunshine Classic S. (BT)

Great Gatsby in sprint
Arindel’s Breeding gatsby followed a half-length loss to the Grade 1 winner Clear clock in an optional stipend seeker on Dec. 10 to earn his first staking win in the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint.

Gatsby, piloted by Luis Saez, took over but was quickly outpaced by the pilot trained by Brian Lynch. cool quest , who shot the inside fence to lead the seven-horse field with a crisp opening quarter: 21.75. Passed a half mile in :44.23, Gatsby rode to engage Cool Quest with a quarter mile to go and battled this rival on the stretch. In the final sixteen, Gatsby surged for a 1 1/4 length count in 1:09.11 for all six furlongs.

cool quest and Pudding completed the trifecta.

After Gatsby finished second at Drain the Clock, trainer Carlos David was confident Gatsby would show up with a top-notch effort on Saturday.

“It was kind of a preparation for this race,” David said. “Having Drain the Clock in that race was really tough. When he ran a fast race like that, we knew he would be competitive in that race.”

Photo: Coglianese Photos/Lauren King

Gatsby wins the Sunshine Sprint Stakes

Gatsby, a 4 year old gelding by Brothers , is a full brother of Octane , who clinched the FTBOA Florida Sire In Reality Stakes and the FTBOA Florida Sire Affirmed Stakes in 2021 at Gulfstream. He is out of victory Aldebaran big Star rookie , a half-sister to the Graduated Stakes winner With humour . Star Recruit has an unrun full 2-year-old sister to Gatsby and Octane named sugared almond.

Gatsby earned $286,420 and is 4-5-2 in 19 starts.

Video: Sunshine Sprint S. (BT)

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