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Shancelot Continues Working Toward Riyadh

Shancelot Continues Working Toward Riyadh

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – Crawford Farms Racing’s Shancelot continued his string of works on Monday as he prepares to make his 2020 debut in the inaugural $1.5 million Riyadh Dirt Sprint for trainer Jorge Navarro.

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With Eclipse Award-winning jockey Jose Ortiz aboard, Shancelot breezed an easy 5 furlongs over the Gulfstream Park West main track in 1:00.40. It was the Shanghai Bobby colt’s first time going 5 furlongs in his current work pattern.

Prior to Monday, Shancelot had trained over 4 furlongs on five separate occasions, steadily improving his time with each go. He peaked with a :46.60 effort on January 12, a bullet best-of-13 effort.

Navarro patiently waited to debut Shancelot until February 16, 2019, when he ran gate to wire while covering 7 furlongs at Gulfstream Park. The runner-up, Bodexpress, finished second in the Florida Derby (G1) and also appeared in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and the Preakness Stakes (G1).

A next-out allowance score covering 6 furlongs at Monmouth Park on June 23 led to a start in the Amsterdam Stakes (G2) at Saratoga, which Shancelot won by over 12 lengths and recorded a 121 Beyer speed figure, the highest number given for a race shorter than a mile since 2007.

Shancelot working at Santa Anita Park under Martin Garcia on October 19, 2019 (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Three subsequent appearances against Grade 1 foes each resulted in narrow defeats: third by a head in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1), second by a head in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes (G1), and second by 1 1/4 lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

Navarro said that his plan for Shancelot is to continue training at Gulfstream Park West until his scheduled flight to Saudi Arabia departs on February 18. Once he arrives and settles into his new surroundings at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack, Navarro intends to work him once over the local course.

The Riyadh Dirt Sprint is part of the undercard on February 29’s $20 million Saudi Cup, newly crowned the world’s richest horse race.

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