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Belmont: Shirreffs is new in town
ELMONT, N.Y. - The uncertainty of the Southern California racing schedule prompted trainer John Shirreffs to move the bulk of his stable to Belmont Park for the summer. Led by Zenyatta's half-sister Elbouissante, 20 horses arrived here on Monday. Ten more are expected in on May 5.
"I would have to say there didn't seem to be a direction that anybody knew about, and it's very difficult to make plans when you have really nice horses," said Shirreffs, who is in Barn 41, about the Southern California situation.
Shirreffs has run just five horses at Belmont, the last being After Market who finished second in the 2007 Kelso, then a Grade 2 race on turf. He said he's "thrilled" to be at Belmont.
"For every trainer it's a dream come true that they actually train at Belmont Park," Shirreffs said.
The stable is led by Eblouissante, the half-sister to Horse of the Year Zenyatta who has won her first two starts. Eblouissante was being pointed for the Santa Margarita Stakes in March, but suffered a foot abscess. She has breezed four times, but Shirreffs did not yet have a race picked out.
"She's going to love it here," Shirreffs said. "Coming from a synthetic track to Belmont Park, it's going to take a little time to get adjusted."
Mr. Commons, a multiple Grade 2 winner who finished third in the Grade 1 Maker's Mark at Keeneland last out, also is in New York. The Grade 1 Manhattan on Belmont Day could be next for him.
"We are thinking about going a little farther with him," Shirreffs said.
Among the many maidens Shirreffs has brought, he is high on Peace and Justice, a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Hudson Steele. Sendario is a maiden out of the mare Randaroo, who was a multiple graded stakes winner in the Northeast.
Good luck, Barn 41 and have a great summer! John, we will continue to wish you every success.
Wishing John the very best and wishing him tremendous success!
So wonderful to have JS here on the East Cost and yes, maybe a chance to see Ebby up close and personal. Hugs, JB
This just shows how badly California Racing has declined. A beautiful state dying at the vine because of greedy politicians and leftist zealots.
Hi! Great that John Sheriffs is back on the east coast. I believe that John Sheriffs was born and raised in New Hampshire. If I am wrong, let me know. Much love and good luck to Eblouissante regarding her next race. I am eager to watch it. Thank you! Lise from Maine
Eastern race fans are gonna love the chances to see Ebby.
Class act very satisfied he's come East good luck John!
West Coast loss is East Coast gain! John is a top notch trainer. I think of him as a Hirse Whisperer. We've had fun "stalking" him often at the track - supporting him and his horses that is ;-) Wishing him continued success; we look forward to his return to Calif in the fall where we will pick up where we left off: watching him saddle his horses :-) Auntie Judy
Hollywood Park lowering its purses, increasing takeouts and track admission, will definitely put some extra bread into the pockets of some folks of the management for the last last time.
Very clever headline.
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