02/21/2016 8:05AM

Shogood regains good form in WEBN Stakes

Coady Photography
Shogood, back on Polytrack after two flops on dirt, scores a front-running 1 1/2-length victory under Chris Emigh in the WEBN Stakes.

Shogood was arguably the best 2-year-old on Arlington Park’s Polytrack last summer, winning two of three starts there, including the Grade 3 Arlington Washington Futurity by 2 1/2 lengths.

Back on Polytrack at Turfway Park on Saturday night in the $50,000 WEBN Stakes after a couple of rear-half finishes on dirt, Shogood proved best yet again, leading throughout to score a 1 1/2- length victory.

Shogood looked like a winner mere seconds into the WEBN, going straight to the lead under Chris Emigh and going comfortably under a snug hold with an opening quarter-mile timed in 22.19 seconds. He maintained a clear advantage with a half-mile in 45.02, and then opened up at the top of the stretch.

The one thing he didn’t do was pull away late, running the final sixteenth in the 6 1/2-furlong race in 6.99 seconds, though runner-up Blue Wings, as well as third-place Surgical Strike and fourth-place Oh Oz never posed a significant threat.

Surgical Strike, cutting back to sprint after routing on grass, finished best – boding well for his prospects in the next stakes for 3-year-olds at Turfway, the March 12 John Battaglia at 1 1/16 miles, which serves as the final prep for the track’s signature race, the $500,000, Grade 3 Spiral at 1 1/8 miles on April 2.

If Shogood returns in the Battaglia, he will be more of a question mark at the distance, not having won beyond the seven furlongs of the Arlington-Washington Futurity. His two dirt losses were at a mile.

Regardless, Shogood was quickest in the 6 1/2-furlong WEBN, racing the distance in 1:17.63. He paid $7.80 as the second favorite in the field of 10.

The winner, a 3-year-old gelded son of Nobiz Like Shobiz, is owned by William Stiritz and trained by Scott Becker.

Banree, making her first start on a synthetic surface, finished sixth in her seasonal bow as the 6-5 favorite. Twice graded-placed last year, she was one of two fillies that raced in the WEBN after last week’s Cincinnati Trophy Stakes was not rescheduled after racing was canceled at Turfway due to bitter cold Feb. 13.