Ivan Rodriguez and Albert and Michelle Crawford's Shancelot more than lived up to his 6-5 odds in Sunday's Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes, pulling away from his 11 sophomore rivals with every stride and crossing the wire 12 1/2 lengths the best. The son of Shanghai Bobby covered 6 1/2 furlongs over Saratoga's fast main track in 1:14.01, just three-tenths of a second off the track record. Ridden to victory by Emisael Jaramillo and undefeated in three career starts, Shancelot is trained by Jorge Navarro.
“Wow. To say what I said a month ago, that this is the best horse I've ever trained,” said Navarro. “You know, Private Zone was good. Sharp Azteca was good. X Y Jet is still good – going into the race, I knew he was running against some good horses, I thought, 'am I going to be wrong?' I guess not.
“The jockey (Emisael Jaramillo) jumped off and said, 'Jorge, this was just a workout.' He said, 'I had so much in the bottom.' I've never seen anything like it in my life.”
Shancelot was very quick out of the starting gate and allowed Jaramillo to guide him straight over to the rail, where the colt immediately started to pull away from his rivals. Classy John was the closest to him early, with Wendell Fong and Lemniscate attempting to pick up the chase on the turn, but Shancelot was already three lengths ahead at the half mile pole.
The talented colt set fractions of :21.79 and :43.94, turning toward the wire with a six-length advantage. Under mild urging from Jaramillo, Shancelot continued to pull away down the stretch to win by 12 1/2 lengths. His six-furlong split time of 1:07.63 was faster than Imperial Hint's record-setting performance in 1:07.92 on Saturday's card; the final time of 1:14.01 was three-tenths of a second off Quality Road's record of 1:13.74, set in 2009.
“He was excellent today,” Jaramillo said. “He did it easy. He was moving fast but he did it like it was normal. That's him. He's that talented. This is probably the best horse I've ever ridden in my life next to X Y Jet.”
Nitrous made up a lot of ground to finish second over Honest Mischief, and after missing the break Super Comet did well to run fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Charles Muth and Patrick Murphy, Shancelot was a $50,000 yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select sale. After breezing an eighth in 9 4/5 seconds at OBS March, the colt commanded a final bid of $245,000 as a 2-year-old. He has not been defeated in three career starts, breaking his maiden at Gulfstream in February this year by a neck over Florida Derby runner-up Bodexpress, and winning an allowance optional claiming race at Monmouth in June by 6 1/4 lengths. The colt boasts earnings of over $170,000.
Navarro expects to target the G1 Allen Jerkens with Shancelot on the Travers undercard.
“If everything comes out good, that's where we'll end up,” said the trainer. “We'll go through everything with him, make sure everything is fine. That's our plan.”
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