Arzak wins Shakertown S. (G2) in return from winter break

Not This Time’s top-class turf sprinter won the $350,000 Shakertown S. (G2) by a length Saturday at Keeneland in his first start since the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).

The layoff was no problem for the 6-year-old, who has now racked up five stakes wins, three of them graded events, and earned $824,019 for his owner Sonata Stable.

After breaking alertly from the middle post in the 12-horse field, Arzak got a good stalking trip in the 5 ½-furlong dash. Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. kept his mount in the clear well off the fence the entire trip. He was three-wide on the turn and wider still coming into the stretch, when he made his move for the lead. He surged past the early speed and won handily in 1:02.93 on a good turf course.

“We gave him a little vacation after the Breeders’ Cup,” said winning trainer Michael Trombetta. “He’s trained brilliantly (since returning to the barn in February). His last three races are as good as anything he’s ever done. I was a little worried coming off the layoff, that he’d be ready, but he showed up and did what he needed to do. It’s hard to do [win two stakes at Keeneland, this one following the Woodford last fall], so I hope to be back here in the fall with him.”

Arzak was bred in Kentucky by John Oxley and sold for $575,000 at the 2020 OBS Spring 2-year-old sale.

Pedigree Notes from the TDN

One of 34 stakes winners for Not This Time, Arzak impressed at OBS April in 2020 when selling for $575,000 to Marc Tacher. Dam Delightful Melody, out of MGSW/MGISP Bending Strings, has produced four winners from five to race and herself brought $500,000 as a yearling at Saratoga.



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