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Breeders Cup 2015

Shkspeare Shaliyah Gets There in Pilgrim

In Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Pilgrim, Shkspeare Shaliyah closed from last into a very slow pace to give owner and trainer Doodnauth Shivmangal his first graded stakes victory.

Loping along in sixth as Captain Webb maintained a short lead through opening fractions of 27.24 and 55.41, Shkspeare Shaliyah was carried five-wide into the stretch and outkicked his rivals to win by a length.

"They were walking because the track is very loose," said winning jockey Alex Solis. "He is a very special horse; he has a tremendous turn of foot. I had him relaxed the first part in behind the speed. I got him to the top of the stretch and I asked him and he finished really strong."

The winner's final time for 1 1/16 miles over Belmont Park's soft turf course was 1:51.59 and he returned $6.80 as the 2-1 co-second choice in the field of six.

Shkspeare Shaliyah, a 2-year-old son of Shakespeare, was named for Shivmangal's granddaughter, a fact which makes the horse, and today's victory, especially meaningful to him.

"We refused a lot of money for this horse but we didn't sell him because we bought this horse for my granddaughter and there is no amount of money that can buy this horse," Shivmangal said. "This race was for my mom and my dad and for my sister who is very sick in Canada and for my granddaughter, Shaliyah, who this horse is named for."

Shkspeare Shaliyah debuted in Saratoga, finishing third in a 1 1/16-mile turf race on August 27, then broke his maiden going the same distance at Belmont just two weeks ago. He has now earned $96,700 and is Breeders' Cup-bound, Shivmangal said.

"He is definitely headed to the Breeders' Cup [Juvenile Turf]," said the trainer. "I know this horse. He is the best horse I have ever trained. He is very professional."

Kitten's Kid got up by a nose for second and favored Fantastic Song was third. Captain Webb, Knock Rock, and Fox Rules completed the order of finish. State of Play was scratched.



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