ELMONT, N.Y. – Chris Pallas and Harvey Rothenberg’s Shifty She paired up a career-best 94 Beyer for her impressive gate-to-wire score in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Noble Damsel, a one-mile Widener turf test for fillies and mares.
The 5-year-old Gone Astray mare missed her 4-year-old campaign with a tendon issue but has enjoyed a productive season after joining the barn of trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr., winning 3-of-6 starts.
“She was very gutsy,” said Joseph, Jr. of the Noble Damsel effort. “She always shows up and her numbers were trending in the right direction. It was a competitive race also and you could finish second or third and still run your race, but I’m glad she got the job done and is a Grade 3 winner.”
Shifty She was reunited Saturday with jockey Edwin Gonzalez, who had piloted the hard-trying bay to victories in the open-company Powder Break in May and the Ginger Punch against Florida-breds in June, both at Gulfstream Park.
“He’s 3-for-3 on her now. He gave her a very good ride,” Joseph, Jr. said.
Joseph, Jr. said he knew he’d landed a talented mare when she battled gamely on the lead in her seasonal debut traveling one-mile over firm Gulfstream turf in April to finish a close fourth off a 16-month layoff.
“I gained so much respect for her that day. There was a wicked speed duel, but she never gave in off the layoff,” Joseph, Jr. said. “She gives you her all each and every time.”
Joseph, Jr. said Shifty She’s long-term target is the Grade 3, $500,000 Pegasus Filly and Mare Turf on January 29 at Gulfstream.
“That’s the dream goal. The Pegasus is at home at Gulfstream, so it makes sense to backtrack from that and maybe get one more race in before,” Joseph, Jr. said.
Joseph, Jr. said Shifty She bounced out of the race in good order and will ship back to his care at Gulfstream this afternoon.
Ny Traffic getting a in a work for Saffie Joseph, Jr. (Susie Raisher)
John Fanelli, Cash is King, LC Racing, Paul Braverman and Team Hanley’s New York-bred Ny Traffic breezed a half-mile in 48.27 Sunday over the Gulfstream main track.
The 4-year-old Cross Traffic gray, bred by Brian Culnan, enjoyed a productive sophomore season through a record of 7-1-3-1, including a game runner-up effort to Authentic in the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth.
Ny Traffic opened his current campaign with a dominant 6 3/4-length score in a seven-furlong state-bred optional claiming sprint, garnering a career-best 103 Beyer. He returned with a good second to Informative in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile ahead of off-the-board efforts traveling nine furlongs in the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup in July and the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic on August 27.
Joseph, Jr. said he is hoping that Ny Traffic will return to winning form in Saturday’s 6 1/2-furlong $150,000 Hudson on Empire Showcase Day with an eye towards a start in the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap on December 4 at the Big A.
“His comeback at seven [furlongs] at Belmont was in a New York-bred race and he ran well. After that we ran him long at Monmouth and it was OK,” Joseph, Jr. said. “I’ve always wanted to bring him back to one turn because that seven-eighths race was so impressive. If he runs well our target would be the Cigar Mile in December, but we’ll go one race at a time.”
Joseph, Jr. said Ny Traffic has worked consistently well at Gulfstream dating back to late September.
“He’s coming into good form,” Joseph, Jr. said. “He worked very good this morning. All being well he should run a good race.”
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Top Photo: Morgan Joseph, wife of trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr., congratulating Edwin Gonzalez after he and Shifty She won the Noble Damsel at Belmont. (Susie Raisher)