Shake Em Loose among late Triple Crown noms

Add Shake Em Loose to the Triple Crown fray.

Owner-trainer Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon has made the sophomore son of Shakin It Up one of the seven late nominees to the series at a cost of $6,000. Late nominations were due March 28, and the seven newcomers bring the total number of nominated horses to 321.

Other late nominations include UAE Derby runner-up Summer Is Tomorrow, owned by Michael Hilary and Negar Burke; Vladimir Kazakov’s UAE 2000 Guineas winner Azure Coast; B4 Farms’ Sunland Derby (GIII) runner-up Bye Bye Bobby; OGMA Investments and Jack Towell Jr’s Fountain of Youth (GII) third-place finisher O Captain; Daniel Alonso’s recent allowance winner Skippylongstocking; and Boat Racing, Fritz Brothers Racing and Bill Strauss’ maiden winner Win the Day.

The Triple Crown series kicks off May 7 with the Kentucky Derby. The Preakness follows two weeks later, and the Belmont Stakes takes place June 11.

Sanchez-Salomon told The Racing Biz March 19 that he would point Shake Em Loose to the Federico Tesio Stakes April 16 at Laurel Park. That race is a “Win and in” contest for the Grade 1 Preakness May 21 at Pimlico Race Course.

If he actually makes the Preakness starting gate, Shake Em Loose will have had one of the more unusual paths to the Middle Jewel of any horse in recent years. Purchased by Alton Brown for just $1,000 as a yearling, Shake Em Loose broke his maiden in his sixth career start after dropping all the way down to the $16,000 maiden claiming level.

Sanchez-Salomon claimed him out of that victory and wheeled him back in the seven-furlong Heft Stakes. Sent off at 59-1, Shake Em Loose rallied from last to win by three-quarters of a length.

He then ran seventh in the Spectacular Bid Stakes after breaking poorly, but the gelding has won two straight since. Last out, in the 1 1/16-mile Private Terms March 19, he made a three-wide move to the lead and held the well-regarded Joe safe for a 1 ¾-length victory.

Overall, he’s won four of 10 career starts – including four of his last five – with earnings of $184,875.

“You never really expect much of a horse until you’ve got them on your hands,” Sanchez-Salomon told The Racing Biz after the Private Terms. “I thought he was just going to be a regular horse. I never thought it was going to be something like this. Day by day, he is improving a lot; he has showed me a lot, a lot, a lot.”

He’ll need to keep up that improvement if he is to win the Tesio and then contend with the top runners of his generation in the Preakness.

But in the aftermath of the Private Terms, Sanchez-Salomon sounded a philosophical note when asked if he intended to point towards the Preakness.

“That’s a dream of everybody’s, right?” he said. “That’s one of my dreams.”

Shake Em Loose gallery