Thorn Song Cruises to Victory

The Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes was held on Saturday, 4 October 2008, at the legendary Keeneland Racecourse. It is a horse racing event that forms part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series and therefore guarantees automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup for the winner. With a purse $600 000, the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile is a race for three year old horses and older, and was first run in 1986. On Saturday, trainer Dale Romans went into the race with a risky plan, but it paid off for Romans and jockey Robby Albarado, as Thorn Song thundered his way to victory.

Not many trainers want to try to win a race wire to wire, as most jockeys are usually instructed to bide their time to make their move, or to ride the race in the most comfortable way for the horse, not to tire their horse too quickly. But Albarado was instructed to cover the mile at full speed from start to finish, and to see what happens from there. Thorn Song, a gray by Unbridled’s Song and out of Festal, looked extremely happy with the strategy, gaining the lead immediately and being able to maintain the same pace from wire to wire, not giving any of the other contenders much of a chance.

But while Thorn Song machined his way to victory, the fight for second and third place delivered nail biting action and a phenomenal performance by Shakis. Shakis, and jockey Rafael Bejarano, found themselves in eleventh position when they passed the three quarter pole, which is not favorable in a twelve horse line up. But Shakis showed determination and power throughout the race. They fought their way through the contenders to steal second place from War Monger by a nose. Bejarano felt confident that was the race a little longer, Thorn Song might not have gone unchallenged.

Romans commented that he was satisfied with the performance of Thorn Song and was positive that his owner, Ahmed Zayat, will be eager to race Thorn Song at Santa Anita in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile that is three weeks away. Thorn Song has proved his ability to impress and his comfort with an extremely fast paced race. Watching him perform in the Breeders’ Cup is sure to be an unforgettable event.

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