Mshawish shows his versatility, records first dirt win in Hal’s Hope

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January 9th, 2016

A Grade 1 winner on turf, Mshawish carried his form to the main track in Saturday’s $150,000 Hal’s Hope (G3) at Gulfstream Park and has plenty of options going forward. The 6-year-old horse prevailed by a neck over game pacesetter Valid, completing the one-turn mile in 1:34.61 with Javier Castellano.

Owned by Al Shaqab Racing and trained by Todd Pletcher, Mshawish could be pointed toward a title defense in the Gulfstream Park Turf H. (G1) on February 6 or stick with dirt in the Donn H. (G1) on the same card. Or connections could elect to freshen the son of Medaglia d’Oro for a dirt or turf race on the lucrative March 26 Dubai World Cup program.

Off as the 2-1 third choice among five rivals, Mshawish was reserved off the pace during the early stages, only a couple of lengths back in third as 9-5 favorite Valid showed the way on a short lead through opening fractions in :24.26, :46.69 and 1:09.95.

Mshawish launched his bid leaving the far turn, gradually wearing down Valid as he stuck a head in front with a furlong remaining, and maintained a slight advantage to the wire. Valid easily saved second by 3 ¼ lengths over 17-1 outsider Grande Shores in third.

Matrooh and Mr. Jordan came next under the wire, and Midnight Cello was scratched.

A closing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) two back, Mshawish was exiting his first attempt on dirt, finishing a close fourth to Tonalist in the Cigar Mile H. (G1) on November 28. The dark bay opened his racing career in France in 2012, recording a listed stakes win the following year, and Mshawish captured a Group 2 event in Dubai before making his U.S. debut in July 2014.

He also posted stakes wins in the Ft Lauderdale (G2) and El Prado at Gulfstream last winter before recording a respectable third to the world-renowned Solow in the Dubai Turf (G1) last year.

With Saturday’s $93,000 payday, Mshawish has now earned $1,920,655 from a 22-7-2-3 career ledger.

Bred in Kentucky by OTIF 2007, Mshawish is the first stakes winner out of the Thunder Gulch mare Thunder Bayou. This is the female family of champion 2-year-old filly Halfbridled and multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Lu Ravi.

Mshawish passed through the sales ring as a weanling and a yearling before being purchased for 170,000 Euros ($219,708) at the 2012 Arqana May 2-year-old sale in France.

Mshawish photo courtesy of Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography