JockeyIrad Ortiz Jr.
TrainerMark E. Casse
BreederBest A Luck Farm LLC
Conrad Farms’ Shamrock Rose split horses in deep stretch and caught Chalon in the shadow of the wire to win the 12th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint for 3-year-olds and up by a head at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Shamrock Rose covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.13 over a fast main track. It gave Casse a fifth Breeders’ Cup victory and first in this race while Ortiz notched his second consecutive win in the race and fifth World Championships victory.
A winner of four consecutive starts, Shamrock Rose is a 3-year-old Pennsylvania-bred daughter of First Dude out of the Elusive Quality mare Slew’s Quality. It was the first Grade 1 victory for Shamrock Rose, who had made her graded-stakes debut two weeks earlier in the Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland.
Selcourt shot to the lead from her inside post and led the field of 14 through fractions of :21.89 and :44.99. Going into the far turn Happy Like a Fool took over for Selcourt with Chalon moving three wide to challenge and Ortiz beginning to pick off horses from the back of the pack on Shamrock Rose.
Chalon spurted to the front at the eighth pole and appeared home free until Shamrock Rose emerged from the onrushing pack to prevail at the wire. Anonymity was a neck behind Chalon in third with favored Marley’s Freedom another head back in fourth.
“Was I surprised we won?” Casse said. “It was a tough race, but she’s a good horse. I told Irad I don’t know if she’s good enough, but she’ll give you everything she has. And, she’s good. It goes back to Allen Jerkens who always said ‘run them when they’re good’ so we came back in two weeks.”
“I let her be happy,” Ortiz said. “She settled nice for me. She was like fourth and when I dropped in and got through horses, she came running.”
Shamrock Rose represented the first Breeders’ Cup starter for Manfred and Penny Conrad, who made a late $100,000 Horse of Racing Age payment to the Breeders’ Cup in order to start the filly in the in the race.
Shamrock Rose was bred by Best A Luck Farm LLC of Reddick, Florida, and was purchased for $120,000 as a 2-year-old at Ocala. Best A Luck bred one previous Breeders’ Cup starter in Grade 1 winner Dance With Fate, who finished eighth in the 2013 Juvenile at Santa Anita.
Shamrock Rose was voted Eclipse Award Champion Female Sprinter of 2018.
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