March 4, 2024

Shotski leads all the way for Remsen upset

Shotski (Coglianese Photography)

On an afternoon when all four graded stakes at Aqueduct were won wire-to-wire, Shotski took the preferred route to victory in posting an 8-1 upset of the $250,000 Remsen (G2) on Saturday.

Ridden by Luis Saez, Shotski nursed a one-length advantage through splits of :24.26, :50.08, and 1:15.19, opened up a 3 1/2-length advantage in upper stretch, then held off a late surge from Ajaaweed to win by a half-length. He completed 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:54.24.

“We discussed beforehand and (co-owner) Adam (Wachtel) is great with analysis and we found that we might be on the front end which we didn’t mind,” trainer Jerry O’Dwyer said. “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.”

Owned by Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, Pantofel Stable, and Mike Karty, Shotski paid $19.60. Ajaaweed had 3 3/4 lengths on Chase Tracker, who was 6 1/4 lengths in front of Informative. The order of finish was rounded out by Prince James, 1.75-1 favorite Alpha Sixty Six, Cleon Jones, Forza Di Oro, and Amends.

As part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, the Remsen offered qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 to the top four finishers. It was the first Derby points earned by the top four except Ajaaweed, who previously earned 1 point by finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1).

Tenth of 12 in his debut on the turf at Kentucky Downs in early September, Shotski rebounded to break his maiden by four lengths at Laurel going 6 furlongs. Last time, he finished fourth in the Street Sense S. at Churchill Downs finishing just behind Silver Prospector, subsequent winner of last Saturday’s Kentucky Jockey Club (G2). Shotski was entered and scratched from the Kentucky Jockey Club in order to point for the Remsen. Shotski has now earned $167,222.

“Off this big effort, I’m not in a rush to find a next spot for him,” O’Dwyer said. “We’ll see how he comes out of it. We’ll keep all options open.”

Shotski was bred in Kentucky by Springland Farm and Prime Bloodstock, and sold for $25,000 at Fasig-Tipton October. He’s by Blame and out of She Cat, by Bluegrass Cat, who’s also reared the multiple Grade 3-placed Colonist.