BALTIMORE, Md.— Already a multiple stakes-winning owner, Joanne Shankle got her training career off to a flying start when 4-year-old gelding Dr. Ferber cruised to a popular 5 ¼-length victory in Sunday’s fourth race at historic Pimlico Race Course.
Under jockey Tais Lyapustina, Dr. Ferber ($6) won the 1 1/16-mile claiming event for 3-year-olds and up in 1:45.57 over a fast main track. It was the 24th career race for Dr. Ferber, a son and grandson of champions by Lookin At Lucky out of the Housebuster mare Thrill Seeker.
Lyapustina rated Dr. Ferber in sixth through a half-mile in 48.28 seconds. Kept in the clear, Dr. Ferber began to roll midway around the far turn and swept to the lead once straightened for home, edging clear under a hand ride for his fourth-lifetime win and second in three starts following a nine-length romp July 23 at Laurel Park.
Entered for the $5,000 tag, Dr. Ferber was not claimed.
“I was nervous,” Shankle said of her first starter as a trainer, “[but] we had won with him before and felt that he belonged in the race.”
Shankle has worked as an assistant to trainer Rudy Sanchez-Salomon for nearly 10 years and was also one of his owners. She claimed Dr. Ferber for $8,000 out of a third-place finish in March at Laurel.
“We’ve been planning on it,” Shankle said. “I’ve been wanting to run the horses in my name.”
As an owner, Shankle has 30 wins from 171 starters since 2018, including 11-for-45 this year. Her top horse has been 6-year-old mare Can the Queen, winner of the May 20 The Very One and 2021 Sensible Lady Turf Dash, both at Pimlico. She is being pointed to a defense of her Sensible Lady victory Sept. 24.
“She’s my assistant, she’s my right hand, she’s my pretty much everything. She has learned well,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “She’s great. She’s a hard worker.”
“I’m very, very proud of her,” he added. “She’s doing things right and I hope that she continues to do things the same way that we do.”
Sanchez-Salomon said the plan is for Shankle to stay with him while she gets more experience before branching out.
“We’re going to work together until she gets better and then she’s going to go out on her own,” he said. “This is a great start for her.”
Maryland Jockey Club Press Release
Photo: Joanne Shankle (Maryland Jockey Club Photo)