10/09/2009 12:00AM

Big plans for Peruvian star

Email

MIAMI - There are plenty of familiar names on the nomination list for Saturday's $100,000 Spend a Buck Handicap here, a Grade 3 event that is a Win and You're In race for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. But the most intriguing name on that list is Lady Shatzi, a 4-year-old Peruvian-bred filly who will make her U.S. debut against the boys in the 1 1/16-mile Spend a Buck.

Lady Shatzi was purchased privately by Robert Shoukrey during the summer and arrived in the U.S. on Sept. 3. She has been in training at the Ocala Breeders' facility since that time and is scheduled to ship to Calder on Tuesday.

Lady Shatzi was an accomplished long-distance runner in her native Peru, where she beat males on numerous occasions, including in the Group 1 Jockey Club del Peru Stakes, which she won by 3 1/2 lengths. That victory was one of three Group 1 wins for the daughter of Privately Held, who has captured 7 of 12 starts overall.

"I've bought several horses for other people in South America, but I got this one for myself," said Shoukrey. "She's a Group 1 winner, a real nice horse, and I liked the fact she won against the boys many times, which is why it's not a big deal to put her in against colts in this race."

Although she appears at her best going farther the 1 1/16 miles of the Spend a Buck, Shoukrey thinks Lady Shatzi will have little problem handling the distance.

"She's a long-winded filly but does have speed," said Shoukrey. "It's probably not the ideal distance but should be within the realm of possibility, and we're going in with the idea of winning this race."

Shoukrey also makes no bones about his immediate goal with Lady Shatzi.

"It's a Win and You're In race for the Breeders' Cup, right?" Shoukrey said. "If she wins, then we'll take her to California. If not, we'll take a look at the condition books that come in from around the country and find something else."

Lady Shatzi will make her U.S. debut for trainer Robert Boileau with no rider picked out yet.

"Robert and I are friends and we've trained horses before," said Shoukrey. "He's an old-timer and we're doing this together."

Shoukrey's ultimate goal for Lady Shatzi is to breed her in the United States.

"We need her to run well in races like this to cement her status in the U.S. when we retire her to the breeding shed," Shoukrey explained. "We'd like to show that she has accomplished something here as well as in South America."

Lady Shatzi was assigned 114 pounds for the Spend a Buck, nine less than the topweighted It's a Bird who will carry 123 pounds if he starts. Among the other nominees are Motovato (119), Mambo Meister (118), You and I Forever (118), Dream Maestro (117), Imawildandcrazyguy (117), and Hey Byrn (116).