Speightstown ‘Rising Star’ Runs Back to Debut to Dominate Marine


Shirl’s Speight | Michael Burns

Well-bred Shirl’s Speight turned in one of the more impressive debuts of 2020 when he demolished nine rivals in front-running fashion over seven grassy furlongs here July 4, and the ‘TDN Rising Star’ handled two turns and Tapeta just as well Saturday to make the grade in Woodbine’s GIII Marine S. Away well from the outside seven post, the favorite was content to sit second locked on to frontrunner Untitled (Khozan)’s right hip through splits of :24.59 and :48.68. He was asked for more by Rafael Hernandez heading into the bend, took over seemingly a bit early midway around the turn but kept finding from there under confident handling to cruise to an easy victory. Second choice Lucky Curlin completed the exacta with Dotted Line checking in third.

“Like I said before, he’s a horse with a tremendous amount of ability,” said Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield, who was celebrating his record fifth Marine victory but first since 1993. “He just had that one race and he never learned anything from that race. He did get the experience from it, so today was going to be more interesting… He settled down and rated. Once he got to the five-eighths pole, I was pretty sure he’d just keep galloping around there. He’s a very nice horse, for sure.”

Attfield has had high hopes for his budding superstar since last year: “I’ve been excited about this horse from last year, to be honest with you. He was always the workmate with [2019 Canadian champion 2-year-old] Mr. Hustle (Declaration of War)… and [Shirl’s Speight] always looked like he might be the stronger of the two, and just sprinting. I said, ‘He’ll stay. This horse will stay.’ I was pretty sure he’d stay. But I had to put him away because he got jarred up and he needed some time. I couldn’t wait to get him back this spring because I’ve been thinking about this horse all winter.”

Saturday, Woodbine
MARINE S.-GIII, C$128,250, Woodbine, 7-25, 3yo, 1 1/16m (AWT), 1:43.42, ft.
1–SHIRL’S SPEIGHT, 117, c, 3, by Speightstown
1st Dam: Perfect Shirl (GISW-USA, GSP-Can, $1,390,729), by Perfect Soul (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Lady Shirl, by That’s a Nice
                3rd Dam: Canonization, by Native Heritage
WIN. O/B-Charles Fipke (KY); T-Roger L. Attfield; J-Rafael
Manuel Hernandez. C$75,000. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0,
$86,893. Werk Nick Rating: B. 
   Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Lucky Curlin, 117, c, 3, Curlin–My Lady Luck, by Hard Spun.
O/B-John C. Oxley (KY); T-Mark E. Casse. C$25,000.
3–Dotted Line, 121, g, 3, Signature Red–Springledge, by
Outflanker. O-Norseman Racing Stable; B-Howard Walton
(ON); T-Sid C. Attard. C$16,500.
Margins: 2 3/4, 1HF, 1. Odds: 1.05, 2.00, 19.30.
Also Ran: Untitled, Glorious Tribute, Lookinatamiracle, Perfect Revenge. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Pedigree Notes:
Shirl’s Speight becomes the 112th stakes winner and 55th graded winner for his sire. The winner’s dam upset the 2011 GI Breeders’ Cup F/M Turf at 27-1 for this same owner/breeder and trainer. Perfect Shirl is out of GISW Lady Shirl (That’s a Nice), making her a half to GISW Shakespeare (Theatrical {Ire}), MGSW Lady Shakespeare (Theatrical {Ire}), et al. The late Jack Werk purchased Lady Shirl on Chuck Fipke’s behalf for $485,000 at the 2005 Keeneland November sale while carrying Lady Shakespeare. Shirl’s Speight’s 2-year-old full-sister Speightstown Shirl most recently breezed last Sunday over the local main track (:50.40, 67/90).

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