2021 has been a banner year for Shane Wilson. The Louisiana-based trainer has been winning at a 20 percent clip, with 79 victories so far.
Wilson also has achieved his highest earning year ever, with more than $1.4 million in winnings thus far. As racing continues at Fair Grounds, Wilson updated Horse Racing Nation on some of the top talent in his barn.
Rightandjust. After spending most of his year running on dirt in 3-year-old races, led by a third-place effort in the Texas Derby, Wilson tried the Awesome Again colt on grass in a Remington Park allowance on Sept. 9. He finished fifth in that race and switched back to dirt for a win at Delta Downs on Dec. 10.
Now, in Monday’s Woodchopper at Fair Grounds, Rightandjust once again will take on the turf.
“I just wanted to try one more time before we just write it off that he can’t run on turf,” Wilson said. “... He came out of racing at Delta well and got a good race under his belt, so he’s doing good. We’re going to take a shot with it.”
Fellow trainer Brad Cox told HRN Saturday that he would start Concert Tour in the race if it is taken off the turf. If that happens, Wilson said, Rightandjust still will run.
“Oh yeah,” Wilson said. “I wish it would.”
Mocito Rojo. Long one of the stars of Wilson’s barn, Mocito Rojo is entered to run in an allowance race at Delta Downs on Thursday. In his most recent race, he finished second in the Delta Mile Stakes on Nov. 13.
The 7-year-old Mutadda gelding will be returning for 2022, according to Wilson.
“I’d like to get him to be a millionaire, and then he could be a stallion in Louisiana for somebody,” Wilson said. “He’s a multiple graded-stakes winner, he’s won from six furlongs to a mile and an eighth, he’s won on the turf and is a really smart horse.”
Drop Dead Sexy. After a second-place effort in a Fair Grounds allowance race on Nov. 27, the 2-year-old Unified filly is entered to run on Dec. 31 in the Louisiana Futurity at Fair Grounds. Wilson said Drop Dead Sexy is a good filly but her success depends upon a few variables, namely that she get a good start.
“She has some talent, she just doesn't like sand in her face,” Wilson said.
Emerald Forest. After getting four wins this the year in allowance races at Delta Downs and Evangeline Downs, the Gemologist gelding has tried stakes company in his last two races, finishing fifth in the Harrods Creek at Churchill Downs and sixth in the Thanksgiving Classic at Fair Grounds.
Emerald Forest will start in the $75,000 Sam’s Town on Jan. 8, going five furlongs at Delta Downs.
“He’s doing really good,” Wilson said. “He just didn’t get the trip I wanted (in the Thanksgiving Classic).”
Onerollofthedice. The counterpart to the Sam’s Town at Delta Downs on Jan. 7 will be the $75,000 Orleans for fillies and mares, also going five furlongs. Wilson plans to run Onerollofthedice in that race.
The Dialed In filly won four races in a row this year at Fair Grounds, Louisiana Downs and Evangeline. That streak was spoiled in her last race, when she finished third in a Delta Downs allowance.
“She’s a really nice classy filly,” Wilson said. “Got a bad trip.”
Clear Sweet Signal. Among his unraced runners, Wilson pointed to Clear Sweet Signal, a 3-year-old Dialed In filly out of Jelly Roll, by Smart Strike. He said she will make her debut soon at Fair Grounds.
“I think she’s going to be somebody to watch on Jan. 3,” Wilson said. “She’ll be a good price too. They’ve got all the real trainers here, so they don’t look at my first-timers.”