A dramatic photo finish in Saturday’s Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes saw 8-5 favorite Next Shares thrust his whiskers across the line just ahead of 6-1 choice Cleopatra’s Strike, scoring his sixth lifetime victory and second Graded score under trainer Richard Baltas.
Purchased from the 2017 Keeneland November consignment by David Meah for $190,000, the 6-year-old gelding by ArchArchArch went on to earn over $900,000 in earnings for owners Iavarone, McClanahan, Dunn, Marasa, Robershaw and Taylor. His 2018 campaign was highlighted by his first G1 victory in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland where he led the field wire-to-wire.
“This is a very, very, very good horse,” said Baltas. “I said earlier that he likes a little more cut in the ground, but he obviously handled this well. Geo rode a great race…He was a little far back, but this guy doesn’t panic.”
“He broke out of there and we kind of got left a little bit, but Richard told me not to hurry, so I didn’t,” said Franco. “Down the lane the other horses were very game, but I think Next Shares heard everyone screaming and pulling for him and he got it done.”
Next Share’s connections announced that he will target the $7,000,000 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational on January 26th for his next start.