John Shirreffs

Skinner To Scratch From Affirmed

C R K Stable's Skinner (Curlin) will be scratched from Sunday's $100,000 Affirmed S. at Santa Anita, trainer John Shirreffs told the Santa Anita notes team Saturday. The decision was made following a Saturday morning gallop over the Santa Anita main track. "I just wasn't happy with the way he jogged," the conditioner said. Skinner, a $40,000 Keeneland September yearling turned $510,000 OBS April juvenile, broke his maiden in his 3-year-old debut in February and finished third to Practical Move (Practical Joke) in both the GII San Felipe S. and...

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Shirreffs's Skinner Scratches, Derby Field Down To 19

C R K Racing's Skinner (Curlin) is out of the GI Kentucky Derby because of an elevated temperature, Churchill Downs said in a release early Friday morning. The horse was scratched by trainer John Shirreffs, according to Kentucky Horse Racing Commission stewards. Skinner had galloped a mile Friday morning during the special 7:45 to 8 a.m. Derby/Oaks training period and all looked well. But then, back at Barn 41, several temperature checks did not come back right, forcing his conditioner to alert track officials that it would not be right...

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Wednesday's Kentucky Derby Report: No Shortage of 'Confidence'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - One of the more buzzed about workouts leading up to the first Saturday in May has been Confidence Game (Candy Ride {Arg})'s eye-catching, five-furlong bullet in :59 for trainer Keith Desormeaux at Churchill Downs last weekend. The steam behind the last-out Feb. 25 GII Rebel S. winner continued to build on a very lively backstretch as he led out the GI Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses with authority at 7:30 a.m. on another chilly and breezy Wednesday morning. 'TDN Rising Star' Tapit Trice (Tapit) is certainly another...

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Morning-Line Favorite Justique Will Scratch From Santa Ynez

'TDN Rising Star' Justique (Justify), the morning-line favorite in Sunday's GIII Santa Ynez S., will not run after spiking a fever this week. "I'm going to scratch," trainer John Shirreffs said Saturday morning. "She had a little temperature." Justique will now await the GIII Las Virgenes S. going a mile Jan. 28, Shirreffs added. The expected scratch of Justique leaves a five-horse field in the Santa Ynez. "She only had a temperature for a day (on Thursday) and she seems pretty good, but I don't know how she'll run under...

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Frosted's Ice Dancing Takes On Baffert Trio in Santa Ynez

Richard Mandella's Ice Dancing (Frosted), the only filly in a scratched-down field of five with a graded-stakes placing already to her name, will seek her first win since breaking her maiden in Sunday's rescheduled Santa Ynez S. at 'The Great Race Place.' The Grade III event, which was originally scheduled for last Sunday's New Year's Eve program, carries Kentucky Oaks points to the tune of 20-8-6-4-2, which will go to the top five finishers that are not associated with Bob Baffert. A homebred for Bass Stables LLC, the newly minted...

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Second Chances: Curlin Colt Flashes Potential in Live Maiden at Del Mar

In this continuing series, TDN's Senior Editor Steve Sherack catches up with the connections of promising maidens to keep on your radar. A week before unveiling Justique (Justify) to a jaw-dropping 'TDN Rising Star' performance at Del Mar--more on her in a bit--Lee Searing's C R K Stable and John Shirreffs debuted another 2-year-old with plenty of upside at the seaside track. Skinner (c, 2, Curlin--Winding Way, by Malibu Moon), a $40,000 Keeneland September yearling turned $510,000 OBS April breezer (:10 1/5), came rolling home to finish an encouraging fifth...

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Justique Is Lead In Last Sunday's Triplet of Rising Star Fillies

In the same way which astronomical stars largely form in groups, so too did the 'TDN Rising Stars' this past Sunday. Not one, not two, but three leading ladies emerged from the nebulae of Del Mar and Saratoga, each with her own brand of brilliance. Chief among the splendor, and the last to show her shine, was Justique (Justify), whose brilliant turn of foot and effortless dismissal of rivals summoned forth comparisons to another glorious 'Rising Star' in her hayday--a John Shirreffs masterpiece, Hall of Famer Zenyatta (Street Cry {Ire})....

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Pricey Filly 'Justifies' Rising Stardom

Despite her $725,000 Keeneland September price tag, C R K Stable's Justique (Justify--Grazie Mille, by Bernardini) snuck a bit under the radar Sunday evening as Bob Baffert-trained Home Cooking (Honor Code) took virtually every dollar of tote support in a salty looking Del Mar maiden special weight. But there was no missing Justique in the stretch, as she inhaled her competition super impressively to become her freshman sire (by Scat Daddy)'s sixth individual winner and second 'TDN Rising Star'. Bidding to become the first debut winner for trainer John Shirreffs...

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Where Are They Now: Zenyatta's Sons, Cozmic One and Ziconic

In this new TDN column, Christie DeBernardis will tell the stories of popular and/or accomplished former racehorses who are now enjoying second careers as show horses, track ponies, etc. The first two foals out of the mighty Zenyatta, Cozmic One (Bernardini) and Ziconic (Tapit), never reached the winner's circle during their brief careers on the racetrack, but they are both thriving in their second careers as jumpers and ambassadors for off-track Thoroughbreds. The elder brother, Cozmic One's second career has been well documented in these pages (Cozmic One: Shining New...

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June 19 Insights: Pricey Uncle Mo Colt Debuts in Arcadia

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency PRICEY UNCLE MO DEBUTS IN ARCADIA 9th-SA, $67K, Msw, 3yo/up, 6 1/2f, 8:12 p.m. John Shirreffs unveils C R K Stable's $950,000 KEESEP acquisition CLUTCH HITTER (Uncle Mo) in this event. His unraced dam Bella Rafaela (Smart Strike) is a half-sister to GISW Twirling Candy (Candy Ride {Arg}) and GSWs Dubai Sky (Candy Ride {Arg}) and Ethnic Dance (Tribal Rule). TJCIS PPs

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Could Zilkha Be the One? Zenyatta's Youngest Daughter Shows Promise at Shirreffs Barn

   The youngest progeny from Hall of Fame superstar Zenyatta recently arrived at John Shirreffs's barn at Santa Anita. The 2-year-old chestnut filly by Candy Ride (Arg) named Zilkha is already well on her way to making her debut this year. Zilkha's big personality became abundantly clear during my interview with Shirreffs. The juvenile was front and center, peering over Shirreffs's shoulder as she was hamming for the camera, and at one point put her nose right in it. Perhaps she is more like Zenyatta than we know? When I...

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Express Train On Top After Big 'Cap Battle

After four Grade I placings in addition to four graded wins, C R K Stable's Express Train (Union Rags) finally got a Grade I to call his own when he captured the Santa Anita H. presented by Yaamava' Resort & Casino in dramatic fashion Saturday. He was also rectifying another overdue omission in giving trainer John Shirreffs, who was nominated to the Hall of Fame this week, his first Big 'Cap win. The victory didn't come easily though, as Express Train had to battle the length of the stretch with...

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