ARCADIA, CA – Trainer Jorge Navarro was on hand early Sunday morning as his top pupil Shancelot put in his final work for Saturday’s Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes (G1) over the local main track. The race is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event for the Sprint.
After breaking away from his pony on the backstretch, Shancelot worked 4 furlongs over the main track, with the on-track clockers catching him in :47.20. Navarro said he was most impressed by the stretch run and that Shacelot didn’t want to pull up after the wire.
“When he got to the 1/4 pole, he took off like he always does,” Navarro said. “When he tried to pull up, he wanted to keep going. That’s what I like to see.”
Following the conclusion of the summer meet in June, Santa Anita Park’s main track underwent extensive renovations with an eye on improving safety and track conditions. Riders have commented that the dirt is much deeper since it reopened for works in mid September, a sentiment that Navarro was quick to share.
“If I hadn’t worked him on this track, then we would’ve been in trouble (for Saturday),” Navarro said. “This is why we came out early. I wanted him to get a good feel for it before he has to race.”
Photo Ernie Belmonte