While the $1 million Queen’s Plate at Woodbine on July 3 remains the main goal for Shakhimat, there are plenty of possibilities in between for the winner of Friday’s Transylvania (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select.
“I think the plan is to stay here for a while with the Queen’s Plate as the ultimate goal,” said Patrick Dixon, assistant to trainer Roger Attfield. “There are a lot of options out there and it is possible he could run at Churchill Downs.”
That would be the $300,000 American Turf (G2) at 1 1/16 miles on Kentucky Derby Day, May 7.
Owned by Richard Hogan and Dan Gale, Shakhimat was dazzling in his 2016 debut Friday, scoring a front-running, 3¼-length victory in the $100,000 Transylvania (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select.
“He is very good this morning; a happy horse,” Dixon said. “He was acting like he never ran at all.”
Should Shakhimat go on to the American Turf, he likely will see some familiar faces.
Trainer Jose Garoffalo said the plan was to go on to Churchill Downs and prepare there for the American Turf with Transylvania runner-up J R’s Holiday.
“My horse ran a helluva race and the plan right now is to stay in Kentucky for the race Derby Day,” said Garoffalo, who trains J R’s Holiday for J.R. Racing LLC.
Trainer Shug McGaughey said third-place finisher Inspector Lynley came back fine after the race.
“I thought he ran a good race,” said McGaughey, who added that Inspector Lynley would remain at Keeneland for the time being and likely return to New York to be pointed at an allowance race.
Overseeing McGaughey’s 12-horse stable at Keeneland is his 26-year-old son, Reeve.
Also doing well the morning after the race were trainer Chad Brown’s two entrants, fourth-place finisher Converge and fifth-place finisher Catapult, according to assistant Whit Beckman.