Lady Shipman back in business in Royal North

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July 31st, 2016

After a disappointing fifth as the 1-2 favorite versus males in the July 3 Highlander (G2), Lady Shipman was still a “lady in waiting” when it came to a graded win. But the speedster went right back for another crack at Woodbine in Sunday’s $157,300 Royal North (G3), blitzed fellow distaffers in front-running fashion, and filled that blank on her resume.

Lady Shipman’s superior class wasn’t in doubt. Ranlo Investments’ homebred had won nine prior stakes, and missed narrowly in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1). But that graded laurel still carries resonance, and she richly deserved to get that critique off her back.

With new rider Jesse Campbell aboard, the 3-5 favorite blasted clear through an opening quarter in :22.86 on the firm turf. Lady Shipman was in her groove now, rattling off factions of :45.24 and :55.80. Once she’s in full flight in front, the Kiaran McLaughlin trainee is well-nigh uncatchable. The 7-1 She’s Explosive made a fine attempt of it, but could get no closer than 1 3/4 lengths. Mississippi Delta finished third, and Cactus Kris rounded out the superfecta.

Lady Shipman clocked six furlongs in 1:07.70, not far off the course record of 1:07.17 set by Ageless in last year’s Royal North.

“I spoke with Kiaran this morning and it put a lot of confidence in me,” Campbell said. “I was at the Breeders' Cup when she ran and I watched some of her previous races. Kiaran told me that he loved her today and to ride her like she's the best horse.

“She made the lead a little easier than I thought she would. And with a filly of this quality, it's going to be a tough day for everyone else.”

 Owner-breeder Randall E. Lowe said that the Royal North was always on the agenda, her Highlander hiccup notwithstanding.

“We had this planned all along,” Lowe said. “After she showed what she could do against the boys, and she didn’t get a very clean trip last time, we thought we'd run her right back against the girls and see if they can beat us. She showed today, you can't catch her.”

Lady Shipman has now bankrolled $776,042 from her 18-12-2-2 record. Lowe noted that Lady Shipman has now visited the winner’s circle at a total of eight racetracks.

“To win at eight different tracks is something in itself,” he said.


Photo courtesy WEG/Michael Burns Photography