Will the real Slim Shadey show up for Saturday’s Grade 1
$500,000 United Nations Stakes? His trainer thinks so.
training extremely well. He shipped over to Monmouth (from Southern
California) a couple of days ago and he galloped a mile and a half
over the track this morning. He’s taken the journey very well,” said trainer Simon
Callaghan, who has come to Monmouth for the first time to saddle the horse “We
feel we’ve got him in really good form. We’re looking forward to this race.”
Bred in Great Britain
by owner Phil Cunningham, the 4-year-old gelded son of Val Royal and the
Chief’s Crown mare VinoVeritas shares a name with superstar rapper Eminem, nee
Marshall Mathers, who also calls himself The Real Slim Shady. Even though suffering
from a case of seconditis in his last three races, the equine Slim Shadey just
may be the real deal.
Early on he
was campaigned in Ireland and
where he once finished fourth behind the undefeated Frankel, and then was sent
stateside and to Callaghan last fall. The third time out of the gate at Santa
Anita, he won the Grade 2 San Marcos and then on Kentucky Derby Day stepped up
to Churchill Downs’ Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic where he had to chase
the front-running Little Mike. Last out on June 9, he was beaten only a length
by Acclamation when the 2011 champion Older Male was left alone on the lead in
the Grade 1 Charlie Whittingham Handicap.
“He ran a
very good race,” said Callaghan, a 29-year-old British native who also trains
Grade 1 winners Dubawi
Heights and Belle Royale.
“Acclamation is a very proven horse at the Group 1 level. I think it’s nothing
to be ashamed of to finish second to a horse of that caliber. Every run he’s
had here, this horse seems to have improved. He’s stepped up for every race.
Let’s hope he does the same.”
Nations, which is a “Win and You’re In” for the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf,
will be contested at one mile and three eights on the turf course. That makes
it a three-turn test.
“A mile and
three eights is probably his optimal distance,” said Callaghan. “He’s one of
those horses that tactically can be ridden any way. He’s won on the lead before
and he can come from behind. We’ll see how the race develops. You can pretty
much put him in any position.”
Flores, who has ridden Slim Shadey in all six of his American starts, will
travel across the country to partner with him again. The horse is the 120 pound
highweight in the field of seven and the 3-1 third choice in the morning line.