Dubb comes up roses in the Claiming Crown with Shekky Shebaz

Gulfstream Park Communications
December 07, 2019 07:04pm
Dubb comes up roses in the Claiming Crown with Shekky Shebaz
Photo: Ryan Thompson/Gulfstream Park

A red rose adorns the back of the racing silks belonging to owner Michael Dubb.




“We came up roses today,” Dubb said after Muggsamatic gave him his second Claiming Crown stakes win on Saturday’s card at Gulfstream Park, taking the $125,000 Claiming Crown Emerald in the finale.


Dubb wasn’t the only big winner Saturday. Jockey Paco Lopez rode four horses to victory on Saturday’s card, which contained nine stakes.


“I was fortunate to have some great horses today, who were favored,” Lopez said. “Whether it’s the Claiming Crown or a $5,000 race, it’s no different for me. I always try for a win.”


For Dubb, Saturday’s success was owed to a keen eye for spotting horses with untapped potential.


The first example of that came in the $110,000 Claiming Crown Canterbury earlier on the card when heavily favored Shekky Shebaz held on for a 3/4-length victory in the five-furlong stakes.


The 4-year-old gelding first caught Dubb’s eye at Saratoga in August when, running for a $25,000 claiming tag, he rolled to a nearly two-length win.


“I was second in that race with my horse and I saw a lot (in Shekky Shebaz) in the $25,000,” Dubb said. “That was his first time on the turf, and I said, ‘Oh my God, if that’s his first time on the turf, what happens when he gets the feel of it?’ “


Dubb and his partners bought the horse privately and immediately turned him over to trainer Jason Servis. Ultimately, Shekky Shebaz was sent to California to run in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and finished third, beaten by less than two lengths.


The decision was then made to try the horse in the Claiming Crown.


The result Saturday was the horse’s second stakes victory since Dubb and his partners bought him for “a modest sum” back in the summer.


“He’s more than paid himself back in multiples,” Dubb said after Shekky Shebaz collected the $60,500 winner’s purse.


Then came Muggsamatic, a 5-year-old gelding that has changed barns frequently in recent months. Entering Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile turf stakes, the horse had been claimed out of each of his three previous races, the last time occurring in Aug. when Dubb nabbed him for $25,000 and sent him to Servis’ barn.


“They wanted to run the horse back in October for a higher claiming price,” Dubb said. “I didn’t want to take any chances. I wanted this horse for the Claiming Crown. In this game, you’ve got to plan in advance.”


It worked out twice on Saturday for Dubb, first with Shekky Shebaz.


“I just get a thrill seeing horse like Shekky, somebody who came from humble beginnings and watch him develop,” Dubb said after the gelding won the five-furlong stakes.


Shekky Shebaz made his first 13 career starts at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa., before showing up at Saratoga in a race for $25,000 claimers on July 27.


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