The 1970s are often referred to as a golden era for American horse racing, and they certainly resonated with Stablemates Racing member Irene Davis. While it was a big red horse named Secretariat that captivated most fans, it was the 1977 Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew, that captured Irene’s heart.
Thanks to Seattle Slew, Irene has remained in love with racing. While she finds great joy in following “Slewbloods”—descendants of the great racehorse and sire—she has expanded her horizons into partnership ventures. Though she’d experimented with others, she knew WinStar Stablemates was the right choice for her and her husband, Bill.
“Having visited WinStar Farm, we believed this would be a first class operation and a good opportunity to get involved in a partnership again,” Irene said.
Irene has enjoyed a variety of experiences with Stablemates, but can pinpoint her two favorites: Paris Lights’ victorious run in the 2020 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), and the opportunity to name former Stablemates filly Passionof the Nile.
“Thoroughbred racing is the most exciting of sports,” Irene said. “Watching these magnificent horses turning for home, the thunder of their hooves on the track and crossing the finish line, especially when your horse wins and even more exciting to be there at the track, watching them live, it’s thrilling.”
WinStar Stablemates Racing’s Crystal Ball, perfect through three starts as a 4-year-old, will put that mark on the line when facing five graded stakes winners in Sunday’s 45th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Shuvee for older fillies and mares going at Saratoga Race Course.
The nine-furlong test honors the multiple stakes-winning Hall of Fame distaffer whose accolades include victories in the Alabama, Mother Goose, Acorn, Coaching Club American Oaks and Beldame. The daughter of Nashua’s biggest claim to fame was defeating males in back-to-back years in the Jockey Club Gold Cup [1970-71]. Shuvee earned Champion 3-Year-Old Filly honors in 1969 before being named Champion Older Female the following two years. She was owned by Anne Minor Stone and trained by Willard Freeman.
Trained by Rodolphe Brisset, Crystal Ball has won all three of her 2021 starts over different racetracks with different jockeys. The daughter of Malibu Moon commenced her campaign with an allowance optional claiming score on April 2 at Santa Anita where Flavien Prat piloted her to a career-best 93 Beyer Speed Figure. After shipping to Churchill Downs to win for the next condition going 1 1/16 miles on May 8 under Florent Geroux, she transferred to Brisset’s barn and won the nine-furlong Lady Jacqueline on June 26 at Thistledown with Luis Saez up.
“When she got switched to us our main goal was to win a stakes with her and we accomplished that last time,” Brisset said. “The mare is 3-for-3 this year. She’s training well, she likes this track. I think it’s the next logical spot for her to try and win a graded stakes with her now. She’s a gorgeous mare physically. She’s obviously going to be in the WinStar broodmare band. It would be nice for her to win that.”
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Click here for the race’s past performances: Crystal Ball — Shuvee Stakes (G3)