Belmont Stakes an option for Shivaree; 'He enjoys his job'

Belmont Stakes an option for Shivaree; 'He enjoys his job'
Photo: Ryan Thompson/Gulfstream Park

Shivaree, last seen running second to Tiz the Law in the March 28 Florida Derby (G1), has several next race options including the Belmont Stakes, the first leg of the 2020 Triple Crown.

Trainer Ralph Nicks says "everything is in the air" for the son of Awesome of Course, whose last win came in the six-furlong Limehouse Stakes in January. Following two more stakes placings in sprints, Shivaree then stretched out to two turns, set the pace and held on for second in the Florida Derby.

"The Belmont's a possibility, Blue Grass a possibility, Haskell's a possibility," Nicks said. "He's doing fine -- just trying to figure out the best park to pick up points and the best park to get a good payday."

Nicks said a decision probably will be made in 10 or 12 days.

The Belmont runs June 20, the Blue Grass (G2) is tentatively scheduled for July 11 at Keeneland, and the Haskell (G1) is one week after that at Monmouth Park. All three races measure 1 1/8 miles, same as the Florida Derby.

Meanwhile, Nicks said, Shivaree has been training well.

"He enjoys his job," the trainer added. "The more you do, the happier he is." 

The Jacks or Better Farms homebred resumed workouts at Gulfstream Park on May 10. In his most-recent breeze on Sunday, Shivaree went five furlongs in 1:02.24.

Shivaree broke his maiden in his sixth attempt in November, then won the Buffalo Man Stakes and the Limehouse, both black-type stakes, in his next two efforts.

The Florida Derby runner-up finish earned Shivaree 40 points toward qualifying for the 2020 Kentucky Derby, good for 13th on the leaderboard.

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