Michael and Jules Iavarone, Jerry McClanahan, Chris Dunn, William Marasa, Ritchie Robershaw and Mark Taylor's 5-year-old gelding Next Shares showed up with another upset on Saturday's Fall Stars card at Keeneland, surprising at 23-1 in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile. The son of ArchArchArch, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione for Richard Baltas, covered a mile on the “good” turf in 1:36.97 to win by about four lengths on the wire. It was the first top-level win for the gelding, and earned him an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Mile next month at Churchill Downs.
“I had a lot of horse while I was getting there,” said Gaffalione. “I was just hoping it would stay open long enough. Credit to the trainer and the owners. They did a great job with him – I just had to hang on. I was a little closer (to the pace) than I thought I would be, but he was running so easily, I didn't want to take anything away from him.”
Great Wide Open stayed on to finish second, while Qurbaan came from well back to be third. Post-time favorite at 2-1, Analyze It finished fourth for trainer Chad Brown, and Big Score was fifth.
Before the start, Divisidero got his hing leg hung up in the starting gate and was a scratched by the state veterinarian. He walked off the track under his own power, according to TVG's Britney Eurton.
In a joint fifth early on, Next Shares had a strong position at the rail for Gaffalione down the backstretch. On the front end, as expected, were Heart to Heart and Voodoo Song, clipping along through fractions of :23.37 and :47.14. Bound for Nowhere and Great Wide Open were the next duo, and Next Shares was at the inside of favorite Analyze It.
Heading into the fa turn, Heart to Heart put away Voodoo Song, and Analyze It was making a solid move on the outside. Gaffalione was endlessly patient at the rail, and a hole opened for him. Next Shares shot through to take the lead, and got away to a commanding advantage in the stretch that his rivals were unable to overcome. It was four lengths between the winning Next Shares and runner-up Great Wide Open, while Qurbaan checked in third. Analyze It could do no better than fourth, and Big Score finished fifth.
Bred in Kentucky by Buck Pond Farm, Next Shares was originally an $87,000 yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall sale. He was graded stakes-placed when consigned to the Keeneland November sale, and brought a final bid of $190,000 from his new connections. Since then, Next Shares has earned a pair of Grade 1 placings but only found the winner's circle in his most recent start, the listed Old Friends Stakes at Kentucky Downs. The Shadwell improves the gelding's record to 5-4-2 from 20 starts for earnings of just over $1 million.
“It was a breakthrough race at Kentucky Downs (a win in the Old Friends Stakes on Sept. 6),” said Baltas. “He's had a lot of seconds and beats by a nose, but he won pretty easy last time. We took a shot here. Obviously he was training unbelievable, a credit to everyone that works with the horse. We got a great trip. Thought we were a little close in the beginning, but that's why you don't tell the jockeys too much.”
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