Shotski to get remainder of 2020 off
Shotski broke his maiden at Laurel Park with Sheldon Russell in the irons. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
Gary Barber, Wachtel Stables, Pantofel Stable and Howling Pigeon Farms’ Grade 2 winner Shotski is expected to miss the rest of his sophomore season with minor bone bruising, Laurel Park-based trainer Jerry O’Dwyer said, but will be pointed to a 4-year-old campaign in 2021.
A maiden winner at Laurel in his second career start last fall who won the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct in his juvenile finale, Shotski had been on the Triple Crown trail earlier this year. He returned to New York to run second in the Withers (G3) Feb. 1 and was fourth in the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 29 in his most recent start.
O’Dwyer and Shotski both traveled to Dubai take part in the UAE Derby (G2) that was scheduled for March 28 but ultimately canceled five days out due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
“When he came back from Dubai we gave him a rest and then we had him back going and I was half-thinking of running him at Oaklawn, and then he just came up a little bit sore after a couple of weeks off,” O’Dwyer said. “Obviously, he’s a good horse so we decided to take a step back and see what’s going on. He got a little bit better the following day but not enough, so we sent him for a bone scan and he had some bruising all around.”
Shotski is currently with trainer Bruce Jackson at the Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center on the grounds of the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., where O’Dwyer went to visit his stable star earlier this week.
“He looks fantastic. I don’t know that there’s ever a good time, but he would have never made the [Kentucky] Derby [G1] now, anyway. The owners have been wonderful,” O’Dwyer said. “He’ll get turned out, he just can’t have any hard training. He’s up in a great place. Once the time comes, we’ll be able to start him back on the water treadmill and things like that and get him back going.”
Also fourth in the Street Sense Stakes as a 2-year-old, Shotski gave Ireland-born O’Dwyer the first graded-stakes victory of his career in the Remsen. A $25,000 yearling at Fasig-Tipton’s fall 2018 auction, he has earned $236,222 in purse earnings from six starts.
“It’s disappointing, but I’m happy we’re doing the right thing by him. Hopefully we’ll get a start into him before the end of the year but if not, we’ll have a nice 4-year-old,” O’Dwyer said. “He’s taken us on a hell of a ride already. It’s amazing, the good ones they go through things. That must have been bugging him without us even knowing. Once we backed off him it came to a head, and we said this is something we need to address, and we did. There’s going to be many more good days out of him we’ll just take our time with him and get him back in good health and go from there.”
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