Stronach Stables’ 5-year-old breezes at Palm Meadows
With regular exercise rider Kelvin Pahal in the irons. Shaman Ghost galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.48, and recorded fractions of 11.88, 23.64, and 35.90, en route to the fastest time of 28 workers at the distance.
Video Link to work: https://youtu.be/qwuV_Rfmlck
Jimmy Jerkens, who trains the millionaire, said it is likely Shaman Ghost will blow out “down the lane a little bit” at Gulfstream Park the day before the Pegasus, provided the weather cooperates. Jerkens, like his late Hall of Fame father, Allen, typically blows out his runners a day or two before their races.
In Shaman Ghost’s prior work to today, on Jan. 14, Jerkens worked him in company with stakes winner Unified. The pair went five furlongs in 1:01.90.
“I thought today went good; I waved [Kelvin] on and he finished up good and galloped out good,” Jerkens said as he watched last year’s Woodward (G1) winner being unsaddled back at the barn. “I wouldn’t have minded if he had company today either, but it just worked out that he didn’t. He was willing enough on his own, so that was okay.”
Jerkens commented on running Shaman Ghost in the Pegasus, a race created by the horse’s owner and breeder, Frank Stronach, by saying, “Sure, it’s exciting … and nerve-wracking, of course, because so much is at stake. But at least he’s not 4-5. If it’s nerve-wracking for me, how must it be for [Bob Baffert and Art Sherman]?”
The inaugural running of the world’s richest race will feature a rematch between the Baffert-trained Arrogate and California Chrome, who is conditioned by Sherman. Arrogate defeated California Chrome — who last night won his second non-consecutive Horse of the Year title — in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). California Chrome finished second in the Classic, beaten a half-length.
Shaman Ghost enters the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, his first race since finishing third in the Clark Handicap (G1) in November, with a record of 6-1-2 in 13 starts. The Canadian-bred won two graded races last year, the aforementioned Woodward, and the Brooklyn Invitational (G2). Before coming to Jerkens’ care for his 2016 campaign, Canadian-bred Shaman Ghost was victorious in the 2015 Queen’s Plate and Marine Stakes (G3).