10/28/2012 4:28PM

Breeders' Cup Turf: Slim Shadey likely to play catch me if you can

Barbara D. Livingston
Slim Shadey will be longshot in the Breeders' Cup Turf, but is dangerous because of his speed.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Facing the toughest field of his career, Slim Shadey will have a definitive role in Saturday’s $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita. He is expected to set the pace, attempting to stretch his speed to 1 1/2 miles for the first time.

“I’m sure we’ll be close to the leaders, if we’re not on the lead,” trainer Simon Callaghan said.

[BREEDERS' CUP PPs: Visit DRF's official BC Handicapping Center]

Twice this year, Slim Shadey has won Grade 2 stakes over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita, most recently a front-running victory in the John Henry Turf Championship on Sept. 30. The win clinched his participation in the BC Turf, Callaghan said.

“This is the deepest competition he’s ever faced and it’s the right time to do it,” Callaghan said. “He’s coming off his best race. It’s a good time to run in this type of race.”

Slim Shadey will be a longshot in the BC Turf, which is led by Point of Entry, the winner of four consecutive graded stakes this year; Shareta, a 4-year-old filly who has won two Group 1 races for fillies and mares in Europe this year; and St Nicholas Abbey, who won the 2011 BC Turf at Churchill Downs.

Shareta and St Nicholas Abbey were ninth and 11th in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Oct. 7.

“I think the field is really good,” Callaghan said. “If either St. Nicholas Abbey or the filly bounce back from the Arc, they’ll be tough; the filly more so. Point of Entry speaks for himself. He deserves to be the favorite in the race.”

Callaghan describes Slim Shadey as “just behind the top tier of the obvious horses.”

A 4-year-old owned by Phil Cunningham, Slim Shadey has won 4 of 22 starts and $508,600. He won his first stakes in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes over 1 1/4 miles on turf here in January. His best race over 1 1/2 miles on turf was a second to Bourbon Bay in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes.

Slim Shadey joined Callaghan’s California stable at this time last year. In England and France at the start of his career, he was stakes-placed at 2 and fourth behind Frankel as a 200-1 shot in the

2011 English 2000 Guineas.

Sunday, Slim Shadey worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track in 1:01.20, although Callaghan timed him in 1:00.60. Ridden by jockey Garrett Gomez in the workout, Slim Shadey was quick early and slowed in the last furlong.

“I think it was because he was feeling so good,” Callaghan said. “It was maybe a tad bit quick.”

Still, Callaghan is ready to try Slim Shadey in the richest race of his career on Saturday.

“He seems to be training as good as he can since we’ve had him,” he said.