09/10/2013 4:50PM

Louisiana Downs: Got Shades may get shot at Breeders' Cup

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Hodge Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.
Got Shades may use the Bourbon at Keeneland as a springboard to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

BOSSIER CITY, La. – Got Shades has established himself as the top 2-year-old of the Louisiana Downs meet with wins in the $50,000 Sunny’s Halo last month and the $100,000 Sunday Silence on Saturday. Now, he could be headed to Keeneland, with the long-range goal of making the Breeders’ Cup.

Trainer Danny Pish said Tuesday that Got Shades could make his next start in the Grade 3, $150,000 Bourbon, a 1 1/16-mile turf race at Keeneland on Oct. 6. It is a Win and You’re In for the $1 million BC Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.

“That’s looking like a strong possibility for his next out,” Pish said. “That’s a race I feel like is a logical next step. It’s a step towards the goal.”

Pish said depending on Got Shades’s performance at Keeneland, he could advance to the Breeders’ Cup. He said to keep all options open, he plans to nominate Got Shades to the Grade 1, $400,000 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 5, a race that figures to produce starters for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

Got Shades has a pedigree for the main track as a son of the Carson City stallion Pollard’s Vision.

“The Juvenile isn’t out of the question. It’s a possibility,” Pish said. “But my preference right now is to keep him on the turf – it’s working – and explore the dirt later. But at least three or four times a week, I tell my clients and I tell my assistants, everything I do is in pencil.”

Got Shades shipped to Pish’s division at Retama Park near San Antonio following his win in the Sunday Silence, a one-mile turf race in which he was 1-5. Got Shades let the pace go, then closed with authority for a three-quarter-length win under regular rider Roman Chapa. One start prior, he was a 3 3/4-length winner of the Sunny’s Halo, a 7 1/2-furlong turf race Aug. 3. In his only other start, Got Shades was third in a maiden special weight at Lone Star Park.

Pish said Got Shades would ship to Keeneland about 10 days prior to the Bourbon. He said he could bring a few other horses to town for races at the Lexington, Ky., track. Pish has divisions of horses at Retama and Louisiana Downs, where he is the meet’s fourth-leading trainer. Later this year, Pish will have a stable at Fair Grounds in New Orleans

Gantry fires career-best Beyer

Gantry earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 105 on Saturday at Louisiana Downs, when he won the $50,000 Temperence Hill by more than four lengths in his first start since April. The number eclipsed his previous high of 102, earned for wins in both the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder Race Course last July and a first-level allowance turf sprint at Belmont Park in June 2011.

On Saturday, Gantry tracked the pace in the Temperence Hill then opened up on his rivals through the lane to cover the six furlongs in 1:09.60. The race was his first since finishing second in the Grade 3 Commonwealth at Keeneland on April 13.

“He’s back to his old self,” trainer Ron Faucheux said Tuesday. “I think the freshening was what he needed. As far as his performance, and number, and everything, to me it shows he’s just as good as he’s ever been. Maybe even better.”

Faucheux said Gantry will likely make his next start in the $100,000 Thanksgiving Handicap at Fair Grounds on Nov. 28. The horse won the race in 2011, and it’s a special one for his connections as both the Brittlyn Stable partners and Faucheux are from New Orleans.

“It’s a big race to win for us, and more than likely that’s where we’ll go from here,” Faucheux said.

There is, however, an outside chance the horse will run before the Thanksgiving, and so he will be nominated to such races as the $150,000 Remington Park Sprint Championship on Sept. 29 and possibly the Grade 3, $200,000 Phoenix at Keeneland on Oct. 6.

“We’ll just nominate and keep our options open,” Faucheux said.

Gantry is based at the Evangeline Downs Training Center near Lafayette, but later this fall will be stabled at Fair Grounds.

Soileau dies at 89

Joseph “J.Y.” Soileau, a retired trainer revered as an institution among horsemen in Louisiana, died Sept. 2 at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Ville Platte, La., according to an obituary from Ardoin’s Funeral Home. Soileau was 89.

Soileau operated one of the leading stables at Fair Grounds, among other tracks in Louisiana. He also was a World War II veteran who was wounded in May 1944 and later awarded a Purple Heart, according to the obituary. Soileau had been stationed in Italy.