Conrad Farms’ Shamrock Rose belied her 18-1 odds with a convincing 2 1/2-length decision in Saturday’s $250,000 Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland. The Mark Casse trainee was coming off back-to-back stakes romps on synthetic surfaces, but had yet to win on dirt, until her breakout in this spot.
Reserved several lengths off the pace by new rider Tyler Gaffalione, Shamrock Rose bided her time as comebacker Blamed blazed through fractions of :22.27 and :44.83. The 9-1 front runner, who hadn’t raced since her Sunland Park Oaks romp March 25, began to feel her exertions by midstretch.
When Blamed reached six furlongs in 1:09.92, Shamrock Rose was already in high gear. The First Dude filly motored past to finish the seven-furlong feature in 1:22.98 and sparked a $39.40 win mutuel.
The 22-1 Take Charge Paula appeared out of it after steadying and losing position on the backstretch, but regrouped well to rally for third. The 36-1 Bronx Beauty completed the longshot superfecta worth $12,340.07 (for 10 cents).
Moonshine Memories, the 9-5 favorite, chased early only to retreat to ninth. The 3-1 second choice, Alter Moon, was always far back before tailing off to last of 14.
Shamrock Rose’s fourth career stakes victory improved her resume to 9-4-2-1, $367,687. After a successful debut in last fall’s Ontario Debutante at Woodbine, she was a distant second to stablemate Wonder Gadot in the Mazarine (G3). Shamrock Rose performed creditably on dirt earlier this season, placing in the Cicada and Weber City Miss and checking in fourth in the Busher. She resumed from a three-month freshening to crush Pennsylvania-breds by 10 1/4 lengths in the August 5 Malvern Rose at Presque Isle Downs, added the September 8 La Lorgnette at Woodbine, and made it a hat trick in the Raven Run.
Bred by Best A Luck Farm in the Keystone State, Shamrock Rose was a $120,000 OBS April juvenile. She is out of Slew’s Quality, an Elusive Quality half-sister to multiple French Group 3 scorer Slew the Red. This is the further family of South African champion Mahbooba and Hall of Famer Lady’s Secret.
Quotes from Keeneland
Assistant trainer David Carroll on Shamrock Rose: “Her last two races have been awesome (the Malvern Rose and La Lorgnette). She was full of confidence. She came to us (at Keeneland) in great shape. It was a great call by Mark and the Conrads (owners Manfred and Penny Conrad) – they are terrific owners, and we’re so happy for them – to try this spot. It might have seemed ambitious, but when the filly’s doing awesome … She just trained unbelievably well.
“I told Tyler (Gaffalione) to just enjoy the ride. She’s sitting on a big race. Whether that was good enough to win, we’d have to wait and see. It was.”
Winning rider Tyler Gaffalione: “The plan was to see where she breaks and put her in a good spot. All the credit goes to Mark (Casse) and his team; they did a great job. They gave me all the confidence in her. They said she’d been doing great. She really showed up today. When I asked her for run, she really kicked on.”
Jockey Julien Leparoux on runner-up Blamed: “She ran a big race from a pretty long layoff (since March 25). She is a fast filly and she was on the lead very easy and just got a little tired at the end. I didn’t feel that we were going that fast and she was doing it easy. Good horses do that easily.”
Hall of Famer Mike Smith on Moonshine Memories, ninth as the 9-5 favorite: “I’m kind of lost for words – she didn’t run. It wasn’t that she ran hard and got outrun, she just didn’t run. She was getting bounced around a little bit on the backside, the 13 (Bronx Beauty) was kind of laying on her, but nine times out of 10 she’d have run away from that.”