July 21, 2024

Shantisara back in business in Hillsborough

Shantisara wins the Hillsborough Stakes (Photo by SV Photography)

Winless in just three starts since her stellar sophomore campaign, Shantisara left no doubt that she still has her old spark in Saturday’s $200,000 Hillsborough (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs. Bettors kept faith in the even-money favorite, who handed trainer Chad Brown his sixth win in the feature for turf distaffers.

Shantisara signaled that she was rounding back into form with a belated second to Queen Goddess in the Jan. 28 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G3). On the slight step up from 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream park, to 1 1/8 miles at Tampa, she was able to secure more advantageous position early.

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. had Shantisara well placed stalking Scotish Star through steady splits of :24.31, :48.48, and 1:12.88 on the firm course, and they accosted the pacesetter turning for home. Scotish Star tried to fend her off, but Shantisara was too strong. The Irish-bred forged 1 1/4 lengths clear in a final time of 1:47.14.

Scotish Star salvaged runner-up honors by a neck from the rallying Surprisingly. In the process, Scotish Star reversed the result of the Feb. 4 Endeavour (G3), where Surprisingly got up to beat her by the same margin.

Temple City Terror crept into contention on the far turn, but the long-distance aficionado was outkicked in the lane and checked in another 2 1/2 lengths adrift in fourth. She just nipped the Brown-trained Rougir, who was followed by Gam’s Mission and fellow Brown pupil Kalifornia Queen.

Campaigned by Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, and Robert V. LaPenta, Shantisara joined the seven-figure club here with earnings of $1,089,672 from her 13-6-4-0 line. The daughter of the Kodiac stallion Coulsty began her career in lower-key fashion in France, but Brown pitched her straight into stakes company. After a troubled second in her U.S. debut in the 2021 Boiling Springs S. at Monmouth Park, Shantisara won three straight – the Pucker Up (G3), Jockey Club Oaks, and Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) by five lengths.

Her four-year-old season started back at Keeneland in the Apr. 22 Jenny Wiley (G1), where Shantisara was a hard-trying second to stablemate and eventual division champion Regal Glory. Unfortunately, Shantisara was vanned off after the race and sidelined. Her comeback over the same course in the Nov. 5 Fall Harvest S. on Breeders’ Cup Day was anticlimactic, as she never factored in fifth. Shantisara regrouped to deliver an encouraging effort in the Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf, and returned to the winner’s circle here.

Bred by Oliver Donlon in the Emerald Isle, Shantisara is out of the Dalakhani mare Kharana. Her fourth dam, French champion Kozana, is also the ancestress of Epsom/Irish Derby (G1) star, two-time Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) champ, and noted sire High Chaparral. The family celebrated more recent classic success with Fancy Blue, the 2020 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) (G1) heroine who also landed the Nassau (G1).