OwnerCrawford Farms Racing
BreederCharles Muth & Patrick Murphy
Michelle and Albert Crawford aren't the first harness racing industry stalwarts to take on the Thoroughbred industry. They may however, be almost as fast out of the starting gate as their speedball Shancelot, who is heading to the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Having been in the Thoroughbred business just four years with only a few horses, Shancelot is their second graded stakes performer. They caught lightening in a bottle when their El Deal won the 2017 Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga.
Shancelot, a three-year-old son of Shanghai Bobby, made a winning debut at Gulfstream Park in February and then proceeded to rattle off two more wins, including an eye-popping performance in his stakes debut July 28. Sent off the 6-5 choice in the Amsterdam Stakes (G3) at Saratoga, he took the lead from Post 12 under jockey Emisael Jaramillo and simply decimated his rivals, winning by more than a dozen lengths.
To put his speed into perspective, his time of 1:07.63 at the three-quarter mile mark of the six and a half furlong Amsterdam was faster than six-year-old Imperial Hint's track record 1:07.92 at that distance in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt the same weekend at Saratoga.
“Wow,” winning trainer Jorge Navarro said. “This is the best horse I’ve ever trained … Going into the race, I knew he was running against some good horses, I thought, ‘Am I going to be wrong?’ I guess not.”
Since the Amsterdam, Shancelot has put in his usual determined run, but was narrowly beaten in his last two starts, finishing third in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at Saratoga, then second in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship.
Navarro also trained El Deal for the Crawfords, and Al Crawford attended the two-year-old in-training sales with him last year. They bought a few horses, including Shancelot, who was purchased for $245,000. The Crawfords recently bought out co-owner Ivan Rodriguez.
Michelle Crawford posted on her Facebook page, “Proud to say we are the sole owners of Shancelot now! The Breeders' Cup Sprint is in our sights pending he is 100% healthy, sound and ready! We always put horse health first, so if he's ready, we are ready! He has been nosed out twice with monster efforts and has come out of each race amazingly sound so we want to give him another try before we stop this year.”