Shore Runner lives up to hype in Lucky Coin

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

July 27th, 2015

Shore Runner was all the rage at the betting windows for Monday's $100,000 Lucky Coin at Saratoga and repaid that confidence with a thrilling, nose win over Sharp Sensation in the 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint.

Claimed for $62,500 by owner Brad Grady and trainer Joe Sharp from a winning effort at Belmont Park June 10, the five-year-old More Than Ready gelding came back to win under allowance conditions over the same six-furlong distance July 3, and was heavily backed to take his stakes debut in the Lucky Coin against a group of experienced stakes performers.

Sixth early as Bold Thunder set a contested pace of :21.88 and :44.05, Shore Runner was bumped by a rival into Sonny Inspired, but also into a clear lane, in mid-stretch. From there, Shore Runner turned in a ferocious late bid to nab Sharp Sensation at the last possible moment in a time of 1:01 on firm ground. A claim of foul by Phil Schoenthal, trainer of Sonny Inspired, was disallowed.

Shore Runner returned $4.70 as the 6-5 favorite with Kendrick Carmouche aboard. Sharp Sensation finished a half-length in front of third-place finisher Amelia's Wild Ride.

Now two-for-two for these connections, Shore Runner has now put himself in the discussion as a Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) contender. That race will be run over 5 1/2 furlongs, at Keeneland on October 31, and there are a number of preps he could be pointed for between now and then.

Sharp Sensation, making just his second start of the year, ran a winning race but was simply caught in a tough beat. This should set himself up well for a probable title defense in the $300,000 Turf Monster H. (G3) at Parx on Labor Day.

Amelia's Wild Ride, winner of the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint and Pennsylvania Governor's Cup, had no excuse, although he might have been better served coming from slightly farther back rather than from his pace-pressing position in second behind Bold Thunder.

Among the other notables, 2014 Lucky Coin winner Spring to the Sky seems not to be the same horse he was last summer, while Bold Thunder seemingly wants no part of anything longer than five furlongs.

Scratched from the field were recent Parx Dash (G3) winner Tightend Touchdown and multiple stakes winner Dreamsgonewild, both of whom might reappear in similar spots later on.

(Shore Runner photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)