Updated on 01/04/2017 2:54PM

Shah sends numerous horses formerly trained by Baffert to O'Neill, Sherman

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Barbara D. Livingston
Dortmund is among six horses Kaleem Shah has transferred to trainer Art Sherman.

The New Year’s Eve split between trainer Bob Baffert and long-time client Kaleem Shah has resulted in several promising horses moving to trainers Doug O’Neill and Art Sherman -- including Dortmund, Klimt, American Gal, and Iliad -- and left Shah on Sunday saying that not only had their business arrangement been terminated, but apparently their friendship, too.

 “My desire was to always race with Bob. I considered him a close friend. This is not something I ever – underscore ever – imagined happening, but unfortunately it came down to this,” Shah said. “I’m saddened about our friendship falling apart more than the business. I thought it would be me and Bob forever.”

 Baffert had put out a release on Saturday night – New Year’s Eve – announcing the split. On Sunday, Baffert said, “We agreed to disagree.”

 “We had a good run, but it’s over,” Baffert said.

 That good run included a Breeders’ Cup Classic victory with Bayern in 2014, and a Santa Anita Derby win in 2015 with Dortmund. In 2016, Dortmund lost his first three starts against California Chrome before finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in his last start. Shah said that Dortmund was among six horses he was turning over to Art Sherman, the trainer of California Chrome.

 Also joining Sherman’s barn, according to Shah, are Del Mar Futurity winner Klimt, the stakes-winning sprinter Power Jam, the maiden 3-year-old fillies Adorable and Besides the Point, and the unraced 3-year-old colt Beneficent, a son of Uncle Mo who was a $700,000 yearling purchase.

 “I was really surprised,” Sherman said. “I appreciate the chance to train those horses.”

 Shah said O’Neill will get American Gal -- a 3-year-old filly who was third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and second most recently in the Starlet at Los Alamitos -- as well as Iliad, a promising 3-year-old colt who won a Los Alamitos maiden race in his second start last month.

O’Neill on Sunday said that plans had not been made for either American Gal or Iliad. American Gal has not worked since the Starlet on Dec. 10. Iliad worked a half-mile for Baffert on Wednesday in 47.40 seconds.

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 Also ticketed to O’Neill, according to Shah, are the multiple graded stakes-winning older female sprinter Fantastic Style, the recent older maiden winner Americanize, the 3-year-old colt Aristocratic, who was second in a Los Alamitos maiden race in his lone start; the 3-year-old filly Beautiful Princess, seventh in her debut on Dec. 26; Hoffenheim, a 4-year-old colt who won a maiden and a first-level allowance in his last two starts; and Roosevelt, a 3-year-old colt who finished last in his lone start at Del Mar in September as the 2-1 favorite in a maiden race won by subsequent FrontRunner winner Gormley.

 Fantastic Style finished fifth in the Kalookan Queen Stakes on Friday at Santa Anita in what represented the final start of the Baffert-Shah partnership.

O’Neill said that Aristocratic would be his first starter for Shah, in a maiden race at Santa Anita on Saturday. Martin Garcia will ride.

 Shah said two more 3-year-old colts, currently turned out and both unraced, will go to O’Neill – Borg, a son of Candy Ride named for tennis great Bjorn Borg, and Stars Aligned, a son of Idiot Proof. Both those colts were purchased at the Barretts May sale.

 Before utilizing Baffert as his lone trainer, Shah had horses with O’Neill.

 “I was floored by it,” O’Neill said of the decision.

 In addition to Bayern and Dortmund, other stakes winners Baffert and Shah had in tandem were Concord Point, Declassify, Eden’s Moon, and Fed Biz.

 Shah’s stable ended 2016 with 19 wins from 74 starters and earnings of $1,803,081 to rank Shah 41st in the nation in earnings. He was as high as second in 2014, with earnings of $5,977,978, the year Bayern led the stable. In 2015, Shah’s runners earned $2,345,130, leaving him ranked 24th in the nation.

Baffert has the most high-profile stable in California. For 2016, Baffert ranked fourth in the nation among trainers with earnings of $15,864,326. Baffert has won the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding trainer four times, most recently in 2015 when the stable was led by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who was owned by Zayat Stables.

 Baffert’s current stable star is Arrogate, now 4, who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic in his last start and is the overwhelming favorite to win the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old male of 2016. He also trains Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Drefong, now age 4, who could also win the male sprint title. His remaining top-ranked 3-year-old colts include American Anthem, set to run in the Sham Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita, and CashCall Futurity winner Mastery.

 --additional reporting by Steve Andersen