Receiving a fine ride from his regular pilot, jockey Francisco Duran, Shudacudawudya came from just off the pace to win the six-furlong contest for older horses by a half-length over Live Sundays in 1:09.04. Reagan Republican took third by a head over Oakland Stakes winner Sourdough Sam.
“I wanted to be in the clear so I could give him the best possible chance to make his run, and I wanted to be extra patient,” said Duran. “I didn’t want to move too soon because I knew horses would be coming. When I asked him, he gave me everything he had.”
The Albany is the second stakes triumph for Shudacudawudya, a 5-year-old gelding who earned his first stakes victory in the 2009 Golden Nugget Stakes at Golden Gate Fields. A California-bred son of Marino Marini, Shudacudawudya is owned by his breeder, Brett Mason, and trained by Brett’s father, Lloyd.
“It’s been three years since we’ve been here (in the video replay room after a stakes win) but it’s a nice place to be,” said Brett Mason. “In the Golden Nugget he clipped heels and stumbled very badly on the turn. We didn’t notice anything until two races later (after the 2010 California Derby), but he had a condylar fracture of his left front leg. Then he had bone chips in his right front ankle.
“I think he’s Superman for what he’s been through to come back like this and at this level,” continued Mason. “Most horses don’t come back at all, and if they do they don’t have any confidence. He’s so laid-back. You could go back to the barn right now and put a little kid on his back and he’d be fine with it.”
Shudacudawudya is a very consistent horse who has seven wins, four seconds and a third in 13 career starts.
“He’s a true racehorse,” said Duran. “He gives me all the confidence in the world because I know he’s going to give me 100 percent.”
Shudacudawudya paid $4.60 to win and earned $39,300, a check that boosted his career earnings to $234,156.
Racing continues at Golden Gate Fields Sunday. Post time is 12:45 p.m. and the track is offering $1 general parking, $1 general admission, $1 hot dogs, $1 beers, and $1 sodas.