Dan Gale, Roger Attfield and William Werner's Shakhimat made a big move down the backstretch in Saturday's G3 Tropical Turf Stakes, taking the lead before the half-mile pole. Jockey Edgard Zayas had judged his mount perfectly, however, as he had enough horse left to hit the wire three-quarters of a length in front at odds of 11-1 on the tote board. Trained by Roger Attfield, the 4-year-old son of Lonhro covered a mile on Gulfstream's firm turf in 1:36.03, while 2-1 favorite Blacktype had to settle for fourth.
Racing for just the fourth time outside of his native Canada and first at Gulfstream Park, Shakhimat cruised to the lead after a half-mile and kept rolling to earn his second career graded-stakes triumph
Shakhimat ($25.20) hit the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Galton in 1:36.03 over a firm turf course. It was another quarter-length back to Attfield-trained Grade 2 winner Tower of Texas in third.
Blacktype, the 2-1 favorite trained by Christophe Clement, trailed the field early and rallied late for fourth by a nose. Clement had won four of the past five runnings of the Tropical Turf; the only exception came in 2015 when he did not enter a horse.
Western Reserve was fastest from the gate and was in front through a quarter-mile in 25.10 seconds, flanked by Shakhimat to his right. Jockey Edgard Zayas gave the 4-year-old Ontario-bred gelding his cue leaving the backstretch and they met no resistance, going the half in 49.74. Zayas had plenty left to repel a bevy of late challengers and give Shakhimat his first third career stakes win including the 2016 Transylvania (G3) at Keeneland.
Shakhimat now owns five wins and nearly $400,000 in purse earnings from 16 career starts.
Tropical Turf (G3) Quotes
Trainer Roger Attfield (Shakhimat, 1st; Tower of Texas, 3rd): “The way the form looked to me, [Shakhimat] looked like the only true speed in the race and I was in pretty good position, really, because my other horse is a come-from-behind horse. He likes a lot of speed in front of him. He didn't really have enough speed in front of him. When I saw the first half-mile of the race and looked at the fractions, I said it's all over as far as I'm concerned. His ears go up and he starts running that way. It worked out perfect, except we should have been second, too.”
“There's a race called the Fort Lauderdale [G2, $200,000, Jan. 13] that we'll look at. I don't want to keep running the two against each other if we can help it but one of them will be in there and it'll probably be [Shakhimat].”
Jockey Edgard Zayas (Shakhimat): “I was planning to stalk the pace and try to go as slow as we can and we went pretty slow the first quarter. I didn't want to
Bred in Ontario by Frank Stronach's Adena Springs, Shakhimat was a $60,000 2-year-old at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select sale. His first graded win came in just his fourth career start, but the gelding hadn't won a stake race since until Saturday. Overall, Shakhimat boasts a record of 5-2-3 from 16 starts with earnings of just under $400,000.
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