Being sent off the 11-1 second longest shot in the eight-horse field that comprised Saturday’s Tropical Turf Stakes (G3) proved no deterrent for Shakhimat and jockey Edgard Zayas as the pair proved victorious by three-quarters of a length on the wire.
Shakhimat headed straight for the lead when the gates opened, but Western Reserve shot out too fast to be denied. That dark bay gelding led the way onto the backstretch through an opening quarter of :25.10, but Shakhimat was tugging away to his outside.
Zayas finally loosened his grip on the Roger Attfield trainee and Shakhimat took off, grabbing command and pulling away over Gulfstream Park’s firm turf. The Lonhro gelding continued motoring into the stretch, turning back all challengers to complete a mile in 1:36.03 and return $25.40 for the win.
Galton ranged up to threaten but could not collar the winner. The six-year-old gelding topped a three-horse photo for second, with Tower of Texas a neck behind in third and 2-1 favorite Blacktype just missing the show spot by a nose. All Included came next in fifth and was followed by Camelot Kitten, Western Reserve and One Go All Go.
Campaigned by Dan Gale, William K. Werner and his trainer, Shakhimat improved his scorecard to read 16-5-2-3 and has now banked $394,151 lifetime. The dark bay four-year-old added a third stakes win to his resume, having previously captured the 2015 Coronation Futurity and 2016 Transylvania Stakes (G3). He entered the Tropical Turf off a third-place effort in the Labeeb Stakes at Woodbine on November 4.
Bred in Ontario by Adena Springs, Shakhimat is out of the winning Touch Gold mare Reggae Rose, who is a half-sister to Grade 2 hero and Grade 1 runner-up Celtic New Year. His third dam is stakes vixen Valid Victress, who foaled 2000 champion turf mare Perfect Sting.