Spotlight on NY Breds in Evan Shipman

Spotlight on NY Breds in Evan Shipman

New York-breds get their chance to shine on Saratoga Race Course’s main stage in Monday’s $70,000 Evan Shipman for 3-year-olds and up.

Included in a field of seven state-breds for the 1 1/8th mile race is Mighty Morris, who has been first or second in all but one of his six starts this year. Recently returned to trainer John Kimmel’s barn after spending the winter with Tom Bush in New York, the 5-year-old gelded son of Wheelaway was a model of consistency while stretching out at Aqueduct, winning an allowance, an optional claimer and the Packett’s Landing Stakes and fashioning runner-up finishes in the Kings Point Handicap and another allowance.

“I sent him to Tom for the winter and he did a great job with him,” said Kimmel, who trains Mighty Morris for Five Ways Farm. “The mile and an eighth should be no problem for him; it wasn’t for his father, who I trained.”

In his most recent start, Mighty Morris finished a distant fifth under David Cohen in the Skip Away at Monmouth Park on June 12.

“Apparently he had a bit of an issue with a foot, but that has since been resolved,” said the trainer. “He had a strong work [5 furlongs in 1:00.65 on July 17] the other day with Channing Hill, who said he felt great, so we’ll see what happens.”

Hill will be reunited in the Evan Shipman with Mighty Morris, who drew the rail as the 4-1 third choice.

Giant Moon, who will be making his Spa debut, has won once in three starts this year, taking an optional claimer at Belmont Park on May 16, and following that with a solid second-place finish on June 13 behind Haynesfield, who would later win the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap.

“He really is doing great,” said Rick Schosberg, who trains the 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway for Albert Fried, Jr. “He’s very serious when he goes to the track to train, and he’s sharp right now.”

Giant Moon, 7-2-0 from 14 lifetime starts, drew post position 5 with Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado, and was tabbed as the 5-2 favorite on the morning line.

Trainer Carl Domino is considering his options for Slevin, who was also entered in a one-mile allowance on the inner turf here on Saturday. The son of Belong to Me began his 4-year-old campaign with a distant sixth-place finish in an optional claimer on June 4, and then rebounded on June 27 to win another optional claimer, both at a mile.

“His first race back was kind of a crash course, but his second was like the old Slevin,” said Domino. “He came out of the race very well.”

Javier Castellano has the mount aboard Slevin, who drew post 4.

Earle Mack’s hard-knocking Icabad Crane found the winner’s circle for the first time since April of 2008 when he won the Kings Point Handicap on March 20, and then finished fourth as the favorite behind Mighty Morris in the Packett’s Landing. The 5-year-old son of Jump Start will gain the services of reigning Eclipse Award-winning rider Julien Leparoux as he breaks from the outside as the 3-1 second choice on the morning line.

The 7-year-old gelding Ruffino has long been a consistent performer for trainer Jim Bond, compiling a record of 8-3-2 from 15 lifetime starts for earnings of $334,960. Having closed out his 2009 campaign with a victory in the New York Stallion Stakes Cormorant Division, the son of Raffie’s Majesty finished fifth in the Packett’s Landing in his first start of this year, then set the pace and held for third behind Giant Moon on May 16.

Owned by Tina Bond, Ruffino will be ridden by Rajiv Maragh from post position 2.

Completing the field are the 8-year-old Naughty New Yorker, who is 3-2-0 from seven starts at the Spa, and Groomedforvictory, third behind Haynesfield and Giant Moon on June 13.

The field for the Evan Shipman:








Mighty Morris (NY)

C Hill


J C Kimmel



Ruffino (NY)

R Maragh


H J Bond



Groomedforvictory (NY)

R A Dominguez


B Tagg



Slevin (NY)

J Castellano


C J Domino



Giant Moon (NY)

E S Prado


R E Schosberg



Naughty New Yorker (NY)

J Samyn


P J Kelly



Icabad Crane (NY)

J R Leparoux


H G Motion



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