Blame Colt Shotski Graduates in Style Thursday at Laurel

October 3, 2019

LAUREL, MD, October 3, 2019– Blue River Investment Partners’ Shotski, wearing blinkers and racing on dirt for the first time, overtook pacesetting favorite Sagamore Mischief approaching the stretch and sprinted clear to an 11-1 upset in Thursday’s sixth race at Laurel Park.

With Sheldon Russell aboard for trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer, Shotski ($25.40) ran six furlongs over a fast main track in 1:10.25 to capture the $40,000 maiden special weight that attracted a well-regarded field of juveniles.

“I think this was a good field of maidens, probably the best field of maidens we’ve seen this year here at Laurel on paper,” O’Dwyer said. “Sagamore Mischief was well-fancied. They backed him well. He ran well at Saratoga first time. I think you’ll see plenty of winners come out of this race.”

Sagamore Mischief, bet down to 7-5 favoritism, was quickest from the gate and went the opening quarter-mile in 23.03 seconds pressed to his outside by Shotski. Russell turned up the heat midway around the turn after a half in 45.94, straightened for home with a short lead and extended it through the stretch to win by four lengths.

“It looks like he ran a good time today and finished up strong, and Sheldon said he couldn’t pull him up,” O’Dwyer said. “When they came to him again galloping out, he tried to take off with him. He wants to go long. He’s a talented individual. We’ll see how he comes out of this race and go from there.”

A bay son of three-time Grade 1-winnign multi-millionaire Blame out of the Bluegrass Cat mare She Cat, Shotski sold for $25,000 as a yearling and was purchased privately this spring after being noticed by O’Dwyer on a trip to Florida.

“I actually bought him off a farm in Ocala after I saw him train. He was going to go in the 2-year-old sale and we bought him before he went to the sale for a nice group of owners. For a lot of them, he’s their first horse,” he said. “He’s been a very nice horse from Day 1.”

O’Dwyer sent Shotski to Kentucky Downs for his unveiling, where he ran 10th of 12 in a 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight sprint on turf Sept. 5. Back at his Laurel base, he worked three times in preparation for his return trip.

“He’s a big, later-maturing, slower-developing type of horse. We sent him out to Kentucky Downs, just because it only comes around once a year,” O’Dwyer said.

“He wasn’t fully prepared, he’s not a grass horse, but we looked at those big purses and decided to take him down there and if he got a piece of it, great, and if not the plan was always to come back here.”

“He sharped up a lot and learned a lot from that first run. It was a blessing in disguise, really, getting that into him,” he added. “He’s just very laid back, so we put the blinkers on him and gave him Lasix today and I think the combination of both things with the run under his belt helped him big time.”

Sagamore Mischief, a Maryland-bred Into Mischief colt that fetched $290,000 as a 2-year-old in training in May, finshed second. It was two lengths back to First Degree, a son of Bernardini that cost $300,000 as a yearling last fall.

Notes: Trainer Mike Trombetta sent out three winners Thursday, sweeping the early double with Broker’s Reward ($7.40) in Race 1 and Day the Music Died ($5) in Race 2, and taking Race 4 with Street Copper ($12.20). Day the Music Died and Street Copper are both owned by R. Larry Johnson.

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