Lady Shipman took another step toward the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) with a one-length score in the $200,000 Turf Amazon H. at Parx Racing on Labor Day.
Ridden by Joel Rosario for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, last year’s Turf Sprint runner-up broke on top and then yielded the early advantage to Your Pace Or Mine. Taking a slight lead from that one entering the stretch, Lady Shipman was workmanlike on her way to the wire and stopped the timer in a not-so-fast :58.06 for five furlongs on firm ground. However, her time was several ticks faster than what males achieved in the Turf Monster H. (G3) later in the card.
Owned by Ranlo Investments, Lady Shipman paid $2.60. Everything Lovely and Sunnysammi finished out the trifecta.
Lady Shipman is undefeated against fillies and mares this term, winning all five tries, but was unplaced against the boys in the Al Quoz Sprint (G1) and Highlander (G2). She notched her first-ever graded win in the July 31 Royal North (G3) at Woodbine.
More impressive visually was Awesome Slew, who overcame post 14, set a moderate tempo, and rolled to a seven-length win in the $300,000 Smarty Jones (G3), a prep for the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G2) on September 24.
Under Paco Lopez, Awesome Slew rattled off fractions of :23.14, :47.74 and 1:12 before finishing up 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.92 over a fast track. A homebred racing for Live Oak, the Eddie Plesa Jr. charge returned $23.80. Wild About Deb was four lengths clear of Seeking the Soul for the place.
A debut winner at Monmouth last summer and a credible fourth in the Sanford (G3), the Awesome Again colt returned to the races in May with a three-length win at Monmouth going six furlongs. A solid third in the Pegasus (G3) next out, he was coming off a last-place finish in the Haskell Invitational (G1) contested in the slop.
If he moves on to the Penn Derby, Awesome Slew would face Preakness (G1) and Haskell winner Exaggerator, as well as Kentucky Derby (G1) hero Nyquist.
The Turf Monster, which included last year’s Breeders’ Cup winner Mongolian Saturday, might not have same significance this year as 23-1 longshot Doctor J Dub led wire-to-wire to win the five-furlong dash by a half-length over 38-1 chance Two Notch Road in a time of :58.73. Pool Winner was third, while favorite Power Alert rallied for fifth after a slow beginning.
Owned by Drawing Away Stable, trained by Jena Antonucci, and ridden by Sheldon Russell, the six-year-old had recently placed twice in three allowance events at Saratoga, with his last win had come in the $75,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint at Gulfstream Park on July 2 at odds of 28-1. He paid $49.80 winning the Turf Monster.
In the day’s other stakes, Scuba was left untouched by five rivals en route to a five-length win in the $200,000 Greenwood Cup (G3) over 1 1/2 miles. Setting a pokey pace of :25.73, :51.55, 1:18.50, 1:44.62, and 2:08.95, the gray pulled away with three furlongs to go and finished up in 2:32.76 under Kendrick Carmouche.
Owned by DARRS Inc. and trained by Brendan Walsh, Scuba paid $4.40 as the 6-5 favorite. Hawaakom finished second and Bodhisattva was third.
(Bill Denver/Equi-Sport Photos)