SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – The horse that Jorge Navarro called the fastest that he’s ever trained made his entrance onto the world’s stage when Shancelot shredded the field to win Sunday’s $200,000 Amsterdam Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
Breaking like a rocket from the far outside post 12 under Emisael Jaramillo as the 6/5 favorite, Shancelot shot to the front and immediately asserted himself by open lengths. With seemingly every step, he seemed to pull away from his foes, and by the time he straightened for home, the other 11 were nowhere in range.
Ridden out to the wire, Shancelot completed the 6 1/2-furlong sprint over the fast main track in a final time of 1:14.01, just shy of Quality Road’s 2009 mark of 1:13.74. His winning margin of 12 1/2 lengths was a new race record.
“The jockey jumped off and said, ‘Jorge, this was just a workout’,” Navarro said. “He said, ‘I had so much in the bottom.’ I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”
A long ways behind the winner came Nitrous, who was 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Honest Mischief. A three-way battle for fourth went to Super Comet by a neck over The Big S, with Bourbon Calling just a head behind them. The rest of the field was strung out and crossed thusly: Achilles Warrior, Lemniscate, Garter and Tie, Wendell Fong, Strike Silver, and Classy John, who was eased before completing the order of finish.
Shortly after crossing, Strike Silver was pulled up and vanned off. The Daily Racing Form’s David Grening later reported that Strike Silver had suffered an injury to his right hind ankle but was resting comfortably in his stall.
Shancelot’s win was his third in as many career starts, having broken his maiden at Gulfstream Park in February before breezing against optional claiming company at Monmouth Park in June. The 3-year-old son of Shanghai Bobby, purchased for $245,000 as a juvenile, has now earned $164,300 for co-owners Ivan Rodriguez and Al and Michelle Crawford.
“To say what I said a month ago, that this is the best horse I’ve ever trained, wow,” Navarro said. “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.”
Shancelot returned $4.70 to win, $3.90 to place, and $2.80 to show. Nitrous brought back $5.10 to place and $3.40 to show, while Honest Mischief paid $2.90 to show.