Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables’ Shekky Shebaz, under meet leading rider Jose Ortiz, wired a field of five to win the $100,000 Lucky Coin on Friday at Saratoga Race Course.
Shekky Shebaz was offered by South Point Sales at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton July Horses of Racing Age sale.
Breaking alertly from post 6 at odds of 5-2, Shekky Shebbaz sprinted to the front setting fractions of 22.40 seconds for the opening quarter-mile with the half in 44.39 as 7-5 mutuel favorite Disco Partner trailed in last on the firm Mellon turf.
Moving along the rail heading into the quarter-pole, Shekky Shebaz held the advantage as Disco Partner moved along the far outside into the stretch. Continuing on under a confident Ortiz, Shekky Shebaz secured the victory by 1 ¾ lengths as Final Frontier closed for second.
The Jason Servis trainee completed the 5 ½ furlong distance in a final time of 1:01.18 to provide Ortiz with his fifth stakes win of the meet.
“I knew he was a very good horse out of the gate and with Jason I was expecting him to break a little quicker, which he did,” said Ortiz. “He put me there very easily. From the half-mile pole, I just gave him control.”
Returning $7.50 for a $2 win wager, the 4-year-old Cape Blanco gelding bred by Ashford Stud Tammy Barnes and Dr. Bernard successfully won his first start for new connections.
In victory, Shekky Shebaz boosted his career earnings to $191,375 while picking up his first stakes win and fifth overall victory from 15 starts.
“He came into the race good,” said Henry Argueta, assistant to Servis. “We only had him for a few weeks, but he was training well into the race and was in good shape.”
It’s been a fantastic final week of the Saratoga meeting for Mike Recio’s South Point Sales and Rockbridge Bloodstock. The day before Shekky Shebaz’s big win, the Rockbridge Bloodstock 2-year-old purchase Irish Danzing made a sparkling debut in a 6-furlong Maiden Special, coasting home by 6 1/2 lengths.
-edited from http://www.nyra.com