03/29/2014 3:15PM

Gulfstream Park: Happy My Way speeds way to dominant Sir Shackleton victory

Barbara D. Livingston
Happy My Way, under Joe Bravo, missed the 6 1/2-furlong track record by .22 of a second in the Sir Shackleton.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Joe Orseno says he will stop saying that Happy My Way is better on the turf.

“Not at Gulfstream,” Orseno said.

Happy My Way ran his dirt record at Gulfstream Park to 4 for 5 overall - and 3 for 4 at this meet - with a spectacular, front-running 5 3/4-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Sir Shackleton Stakes. In defeating Ribo Bobo  - who ran fourth - Happy My Way defeated the only horse to ever beat him at Gulfstream.

Happy My Way, under Joe Bravo, gunned out of the gate from the rail and carved out fractions of 22.40 seconds for the quarter, 44.30 for the half-mile, and 1:08.08 for six furlongs. He ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.66, just missing the track record by .22 of a second.

 “Just awesome,” said Orseno, who trains Happy My Way for Mel Paikoff. “The horse always trained fast. I was trying to do different things with him. I was even trying to stretch him out and then finally I said ‘he wants to be fast.  I’m going to make him be fast, let him be fast.’ So I trained him a little differently, did some things and made him a little happier and he responded beyond my belief.”

Orseno said he was “sick” when he saw Ribo Bobo -  a winner of 12 of his previous 13 races - in the entries. He also was concerned about having drawn the rail, but then, along with Bravo, decided to just send the horse to the lead.

“It made us make our decision what we were going to do,” Orseno said. “If we would have drawn the outside, maybe we would have sat off of Ribo Bobo and it might have been the wrong thing to do. Today we let him be fast again and he responded.”

Orseno said he would think about “bigger and better” things for Happy My Way, but wasn’t quite sure where and when he would start next.

Orseno will have a 15-horse string in New York this summer and races like Grade 2, $250,000 True North on June 6 and the Grade 3, $400,000 Belmont Sprint Championship on July 5 would be potential spots for Happy My Way.