Shot­ski shows the way in G2 Rem­sen

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By NYRA Press Of­fice

The Jeremiah O’Dwyer­trained Shot­ski broke on top and never looked back in the Grade 2, $250,000 Rem­sen at Aqueduct Race­track, con­tin­u­ing a trend of wireto-wire win­ners in stakes races on the main track on Ci­gar Mile Satur­day.

The fron­trun­ning fun be­gan in Race 6 at the Big A in the Grade 3 Go for Wand, when the heav­ily fa­vored Spiced Per­fec­tion led ev­ery step, and con­tin­ued in Race 8 in the Grade 2 De­moi­selle won by Lake Av­enue, who took con­trol of the race for good around the club­house turn. Putting an ex­cla­ma­tion point on the day, Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity took the Grade 1 Ci­gar Mile in gateto-wire fash­ion one race af­ter the Rem­sen.

Owned in part­ner­ship by Wach­tel Sta­ble, Gary Bar­ber, Pantofel Sta­ble and Mike Karty, Shot­ski faced his first two-turn test in the 1 -mile Rem­sen for 2-year-olds, en­ter­ing off a fourth-place fin­ish in the one-mile Street Sense at Churchill Downs in which he fin­ished fourth af­ter stalk­ing the pace.

Un­like the Street Sense, Shot­ski waited for no one early in the Rem­sen af­ter break­ing sharply from the gate un­der Luis Saez. The pair went to the front de­ci­sively and set hon­est splits of 24.26 sec­onds for the open­ing quar­ter-mile, 50.08 for the half, and 1:15.19 for three-quar­ters over a tir­ing track, with Chase Tracker shad­ow­ing him to the in­side and long­shot Prince James to the out­side.

Leav­ing the far turn Saez let Shot­ski out a notch and the Blame colt re­sponded well, open­ing up a three­length lead by up­per stretch. With only Ajaaweed a threat to his chances down the lane, the ad­van­tage proved in­sur­mount­able, and Shot­ski was able to stave off the late run from Ajaaweed to pre­vail by a half-length.

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

“It’s un­be­liev­able, it’s re­ally over­whelm­ing,” added O’Dwyer, who picked up his first graded stakes win in the Rem­sen. “I’m just so blessed to have own­ers like Adam, Gary [Bar­ber] and other sta­bles that buy into horses we have and leave them with me. It gives me, as a young trainer, con­fi­dence in my­self.”

Shot­ski banked $137,500 for his vic­tory, in­creas­ing his ca­reer earn­ings to $167,222. He re­turned $19.60 on a $2 win wa­ger and com­pleted the dis­tance in 1:54.24.

Trainer Kiaran McLaugh­lin’s Ajaaweed, who came into the Rem­sen off a dull fourth-place fin­ish in the Grade 1 Breed­ers’ Fu­tu­rity at Keeneland, ran a valiant race in de­feat upon his re­turn to the NYRA cir­cuit. The 2-year-old son of Curlin mounted a wide rally around the far turn from mid­pack and never quit in the stretch, steadily chip­ping away at the mar­gin all the way to the wire.

Be­hind Ajaaweed, it was 3 ¾ lengths back to Chase Tracker in third and an­other 6 ¼ lengths to In­for­ma­tive in fourth. Prince James, Al­pha Sixty Six, Cleon Jones, Forza Di Oro and Amends com­pleted the or­der of fin­ish.

For his vic­tory, Shot­ski picked up 10 points to­ward a berth in the Ken­tucky Derby as part of the ‘Road to the Ken­tucky Derby’ points sys­tem, while Ajaaweed earned four, Chase Tracker got two, and In­for­ma­tive nabbed one.

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