Happy My Way Has His Way in $100,000 Sir Shackleton
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Happy My Way broke alertly from the gate to set a blistering pace and went on to post a convincing 5 ¾-length victory in the $100,000 Sir Shackleton Stakes Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The Joe Orseno-trained 4-year-old gelding ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:14.66 under Joe Bravo to win his third start of the Champions Meet, out-sprinting Ribo Bobo, the 8-5 favorite who finished third to suffer only his second loss in his last 14 starts.
Sent to the gate as the 2-1 second betting choice, Happy My Way just missed the track record of 1:14.44 set by Forest Danger in 2005.
“Awesome. A while ago, the horse always trained fast. I tried to do different things with him. I even tried to stretch him out. And then, finally, I said, ‘He wants to be fast, so let him be fast,' ” Orseno said. “I trained him a little differently, changed some things that made him a little happier. He’s responded beyond my belief. Off a performance like this, we have to think bigger and better. He’s on his way up.”
Happy My Way set the pace down the backstretch and around the turn, dogged by Ribo Bobo to his outside during fractions of :22.40 and :44.30. As the 4-year-old son of Wilko cut the corner into the stretch, he opened up a commanding lead while Ribo Bobo began to tire under jockey Paco Lopez.
Happy My Way drew clear to the wire, never threatened by second-place finisher Dad’z Laugh, who finished another four lengths ahead of Ribo Bobo.
“You’ve got to love him. All he does is know how to win. It was kind of funny, when I pulled up after the wire the outrider looked at me and said, ‘Hey, you want to claim foul?’ I said, ‘With who? Was there a bird out there?’ He’s pretty fast. “You have to respect that old-timer. He wins a lot, Ribo Bobo, and he’s a very nice horse. We outrun him today.” Orseno, who credited a turf racing last summer for kick-starting Happy My Way’s current winning form, said he doesn’t know when his gelding will race next.
“But his next race will be on dirt and it will be here,” Orseno said. “We’re going to be sticking around a while.”