Maryland-based Shotski readying for Fountain of Youth
Shotski broke his maiden at Laurel Park. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
Ridden by trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer, Shotski tuned up for Saturday’s $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park with a four-furlong breeze Saturday morning at Laurel Park.
Shotski, who captured the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct in December, worked from the gate in company, covering the half-mile distance in 48.40 seconds, the fourth fastest clocking of 36 recorded at the distance.
“He’s a pretty laid-back horse. We just wanted to make sure that he did a proper piece of work in his final preparation before his next race,” O’Dwyer said. “He came out of the gate, broke good. He did it very good. We just let him run away from there and kept them both in hand in company.”
Owned by Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, Pantofel Stable and Howling Pigeon Farms LLC, Shotski is scheduled to ship to South Florida Tuesday and be stabled in trainer Bill Mott’s barn on the Gulfstream backstretch.
Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez is scheduled to ride the son of Blame in the 1 1/16-mile prep for the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream March 28.
Shotski broke his maiden at Laurel in his second career start Oct. 3 after debuting with an off-the-board finish on turf at Kentucky Downs. The Kentucky-bred colt finished fourth in the Street Sense at Churchill Downs four weeks later before scoring a gate-to-wire triumph in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen in his first start around two turns.
Shotski set the pace before finishing second in the Feb. 1 Withers (G3) at Aqueduct in his 3-year-old debut.
“I’m very happy with my horse. It’s hard to be super confident. I never like to get bullish about my horses. I’m just really happy with my horse, the way he breezed this morning, the way he moved, the way he pulled up,” O’Dwyer said. “I can’t do any more. The ball isn’t in my court anymore. It’s up to the horse and Johnny Velazquez. Hopefully, he’s good enough to compete with those nice horses down there.”
Shotski is on course to clash with Dennis’ Moment and Chance It in the Fountain of Youth. Dale Romans-trained Dennis’ Moment, the Iroquois (G3) winner who was eliminated from serious contention by a stumbling start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita in November, is scheduled to breeze Sunday at Gulfstream Park. Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Chance It, who won the Jan. 4 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream, is also expected to breeze Sunday.
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After days of uncertainty the Maryland Jockey Club said it would cease racing at Laurel Park indefinitely because of the coronavirus emergency.
Racing at Laurel Park will take on the flavor of an intrasquad scrimmage, as only horses stabled there or at Pimlico will be permitted on the grounds.
Legislation to redo Pimlico and Laurel Park passed both houses of the Md. Legislature Wednesday and now heads to the Governor.
After a couple of days of confusion following Gov. Hogan’s emergency order Sunday, Laurel Park will race this weekend with additional restrictions.