HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Multiple Grade 1 winner Basin made a triumphant return to action off a six-month layoff Saturday at Gulfstream Park, scoring an off-the-pace victory in the $100,000 Sir Shackleton.
The Sir Shackleton, a seven-furlong sprint for older horses, was one of 10 stakes on a 14-race card that was headlined by the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa.
Basin, who won the 2019 Hopeful (G1) and was awarded the victory in the 2020 Arkansas Derby (G1) via the subsequent disqualification of the first-place finisher while being trained by Steve Asmussen, was making his first start since finishing second in the Aug. 29 Amsterdam (G2) at Saratoga in his first start for Todd Pletcher.
Basin broke well but was allowed to settle off a contested pace set by Shivaree and pressed by Frosted Grace, who dueled for the lead during a 22.55-second first quarter of a mile. Frosted Grace eased away from Shivaree to take the lead under Edwin Gonzalez while completing the first half-mile in 45.03 seconds. Frosted Grace took the lead into the stretch and responded to urging but was unable to hold off Basin, who launched a sustained stretch drive under Jose Ortiz.
Basin, the 3-2 favorite, prevailed by a half-length over Frosted Grace while completing the seven furlongs in 1:23.19. Frosted Grace held off Town Classic by another half-length.
Sir Shackleton Quotes
Winning Trainer Todd Pletcher (Basin): “I got a little anxious. It looked like he backed up on the turn, but he kept grinding it out. Irad (Ortiz Jr., aboard Town Classic) came up outside of him and that kind of encouraged him a little bit. He got in a good stretch duel and he was very game at the end.
“He’s a quality horse He trains really well. We felt like he was just ready. We didn’t want to go over the top for the first one back. We cut it close, but we had him ready to get the job done today. I think he’ll move forward from the race.”
Winning Jockey Jose Ortiz (Basin): “He broke well, but they went a little bit fast and I felt like I was rushing him off his feet so I decided to relax a little bit at the five-eighths pole and sit behind Cool Arrow. It worked out nice. I had to grind it out. But when the horse came to his outside, he dug in. Close to the wire the horse inside came out, too, and that helped him find another gear. He was very game. It was a very game performance.”
Gulfstream Park Press Release
Photo Basin, (Coglianese)