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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

TAKING A SHOTSKI AT GULF

HRI Staff Release — Remsen winner tuned up for Saturday’s Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes by breezing a ha;f-mile in 48.40 Saturday morning at Laurel Park.

Ridden by trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer, Shotski worked from the gate in company with a stablemate. It was fourth fastest time recorded from 36 drills at the distance.

“He’s a pretty laid-back horse. said his trainer. “We just wanted to make sure that he did a proper piece of work in his final preparation before his next race.”

“He came out of the gate, broke good. He did it very good. We just let him run away from there and kept them both in hand in company.”

Owned by Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, Pantofel Stable and Howling Pigeon Farms LLC, Shotski will ship to South Florida Tuesday and be stabled in trainer Bill Mott’s barn on the Gulfstream backstretch.

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez is scheduled to ride the son of Blame in the 1 1/16-mile prep for the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream March 28.

Shotski broke his maiden at Laurel in his second career start Oct. 3 after debuting with an off-the-board finish on turf at Kentucky Downs. The Kentucky-bred colt finished fourth in the Street Sense at Churchill Downs four weeks later.

Following that effort, he scored going gate-to-wire triumph in the nine furlong Remsen, his first start around two turns.

Shotski made his three-year-old debut in the Grade 3 Withers Mile on FEB 1, finishing second after setting the pace.

“It’s hard to be super confident,” said O’Dwyer to the Laurel notes team. “I never like to get bullish about my horses. I’m just really happy with my horse, the way he breezed, the way he moved, the way he pulled up.

“I can’t do any more. The ball isn’t in my court anymore. It’s up to the horse and Johnny Velazquez. Hopefully, he’s good enough to compete with those nice horses down there.”

Shotski is set to clash with Dennis’ Moment and Chance It in the Fountain of Youth. Dale Romans-trained Dennis’ Moment, the Iroquois (G3) winner who was eliminated from serious contention by a stumbling start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Dennis’ Moment will have his final breeze Sunday morning at Gulfstream Park. Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Chance It, who won the Jan. 4 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream, is also expected to breeze Sunday. 

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