Shotski confirmed for Fountain of Youth; Velazquez to ride

Shotski confirmed for Fountain of Youth; Velazquez to ride
Photo: Chelsea Durand/NYRA

Ridden by trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer, Shotski tuned up for Gulfstream Park's Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) with a four-furlong breeze Saturday morning at Laurel Park.

Shotski, who captured the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct in December, worked from the gate in company, covering the half-mile distance in 48.40 seconds, the fourth fastest clocking of 36 recorded at the distance.

“He’s a pretty laid-back horse. We just wanted to make sure that he did a proper piece of work in his final preparation before his next race,” O’Dwyer said ahead of next Saturday's 2020 Kentucky Derby prep. “He came out of the gate, broke good. He did it very good. We just let him run away from there and kept them both in hand in company.”

Owned by Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, Pantofel Stable and Howling Pigeon Farms LLC, Shotski is scheduled to ship to South Florida on Tuesday and stable in trainer Bill Mott’s barn on the Gulfstream backstretch.

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez is booked to ride the son of Blame.

Shotski broke his maiden at Laurel in his second career start Oct. 3 after debuting with an off-the-board finish on turf at Kentucky Downs. The Kentucky-bred colt finished fourth in the Street Sense at Churchill Downs four weeks later before scoring a gate-to-wire triumph in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen in his first start around two turns.

Shotski set the pace before finishing second in the Feb. 1 Withers (G3) at Aqueduct in his 3-year-old debut.

“I’m very happy with my horse. It’s hard to be super confident. I never like to get bullish about my horses. I’m just really happy with my horse, the way he breezed this morning, the way he moved, the way he pulled up,” O’Dwyer said. “I can’t do any more. The ball isn’t in my court anymore. It’s up to the horse and Johnny Velazquez. Hopefully, he’s good enough to compete with those nice horses down there.”

Shotski is on course to clash with Dennis’ Moment and Chance It in the Fountain of Youth. Dale Romans-trained Dennis’ Moment, the Iroquois (G3) winner who was eliminated from serious contention by a stumbling start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita in November, is scheduled to breeze Sunday at Gulfstream Park. Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Chance It, who won the Jan. 4 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream, is also expected to breeze Sunday. 

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