02/07/2015 7:22PM

Mshawish noses out Slumber in Gulfstream Turf

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Barbara D. Livingston
Mshawish, on the inside with Javier Castellano, outfights 11-1 longshot Slumber to prevail by a nose in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Javier Castellano was supposed to keep Mshawish covered up Saturday in the 33rd running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. That he did – maybe too much so.

When it came time for the stretch run, Mshawish, the 7-5 favorite in a field of nine, had nowhere to go. Finally, "at about the eighth pole, a tiny hole opened up,” said Castellano. Mshawish spurted through, and then outnodded Slumber to win the 1 1/8-mile race by a nose in a frantic finish.

“I give all the credit to the horse,” said Castellano. “Not many horses can do what he did today.”

Giving Al Shaqab Racing its second graded stakes win of a 13-race Gulfstream card, Mshawish returned $4.80 after finishing in 1:47.22 over firm going. An hour earlier, Sandiva won the Grade 3 Suwannee River for the stable.

Only three lengths separated the entire field. Slumber, an 11-1 shot and one of three supplementary entries, was a neck ahead of another supplement, War Correspondent, while Manchurian High was another length back in fourth.

Mshawish, a 5-year-old Kentucky horse by Medaglia d’Oro, now has won 6 of 17 career starts and earned $1,055,151. It was his first Grade 1 victory and his third straight stakes win, following the ungraded El Prado and Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale, all at Gulfstream.

Harry Herbert, who manages Al Shaqab for Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Thani, said Mshawish will make his next start in Dubai.

“He’ll either go in the $6 million Dubai Duty Free, or we might try him on the dirt,” said Herbert.

The $2 exacta (1-7) paid $39.80, the $1 trifecta (1-7-6) returned $144.90, and the 10-cent superfecta (1-7-6-5) was worth $107.60.