03/02/2016 10:50AM

Derby Watch pedigree profile: Shagaf

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Barbara D. Livingston
Shagaf, winning an allowance race at Gulfstream on Jan. 29, has a classic-type pedigree that should come into play as the distances get longer.

Shagaf

Bernardini – Muhaawara, by Unbridled’s Song

Shadwell Farm homebred Shagaf, an open-lengths winner of both his starts, may be playing catch-up in terms of experience as he takes his first serious step onto the Triple Crown trail in Saturday’s Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. However, the son of Bernardini has a big advantage in a classic-type pedigree that should serve him well as he progresses.

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Shagaf is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Muhaawara, also a Shadwell homebred. She scored multiple victories at a mile or longer, including the Sky Beauty Stakes at Aqueduct in her career finale. Muhaawara is the dam of two winners from as many starters. Her daughter Gharbeya, by More Than Ready, never missed the board while competing in France last year. All her starts came at 1 1/4 miles or longer, and she won at 1 5/16 miles. Both of Shagaf’s victories – in a maiden race at Aqueduct and an optional claimer at Gulfstream – have come at a mile.

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Muhaawara is out of Habibti, a dual Grade 1 winner as a juvenile, when she took the Del Mar Debutante and Hollywood Starlet. She finished second in the following spring’s Las Virgenes Stakes and Santa Anita Oaks before running third in the Kentucky Oaks. Habibti is also the dam of Breeders’ Cup Marathon winner Eldaafer. By A.P. Indy, the sire of Bernardini, Eldaafer is bred on the same cross as Shagaf.

This is the extended family of Kentucky Oaks winner Gal in a Ruckus, New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Clean Sweep, and South African champion Soft Falling Rain. Other recent stakes horses from this family include Venus Valentine, now on the Kentucky Oaks trail after her upset win in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds.