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SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – Trainer Jerry O’Dwyer’s Shotski struck the front early and held sway late to capture Saturday’s $250,000 Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct.
Breaking from post 6 under Luis Saez at 8/1 odds, Shotski rushed to the front and raced two-wide just ahead of Chase Tracker through the clubhouse turn. Straightening on the backstretch, Shotski proceeded to post opening fractions of :24.26, :50.08, and 1:15.19.
At the top of the stretch, Shotski began pulling away from his foes. Though a late rally from Ajaaweed made it close at the wire, Shotski crossed a 1/2-length in front in a final time of 1:54.24 for the 1 1/8-mile event over the fast main track.
“We found that we might be on the front end, which we didn’t mind,” O’Dwyer said after winning his first graded stakes race. “He’s a very laid-back horse, so I knew he would relax with no problem. Luis said that he did everything right. He doesn’t do any more than he’s asked, but when you ask him, he’s there for you.”
After running three- and four-wide through both turns in mid-pack, Ajaaweed gobbled up considerable ground to take second, 3 3/4 lengths ahead of Chase Tracker. Informative took fourth over Prince James, while the 8/5 favorite Alpha Sixty Six never factored before finishing sixth. Cleon Jones, Forza Di Oro, and Amends completed the order of finish.
The Remsen is part of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby prep race season. Shotski earned 10 points for the win, with Ajaaweed receiving 4 for second, Chase Tracker 2 for third, and Informative 1 for fourth.
Shotski’s win was his second in four starts, having broken his maiden at Laurel Park two back on October 3, and has now earned $167,222. The 2-year-old son of Blame was privately purchased following that maiden-breaking effort by current owners Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, Pantofel Stable, and Mike Karty.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s really overwhelming,” O’Dwyer said. “I’m just so blessed to have owners like Adam, Gary, and other stables that buy into horses we have and leave them with me. It gives me, as a young trainer, confidence in myself.”
Shotski returned $19.60 to win, $7.80 to place, and $4.80 to show. Ajaaweed brought back $5.40 to place and $3.80 to show, while Chase Tracker paid $4.70 to show.
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