THIS IS HORSE RACING

Sinistra grinds it out

Edward Shapoff has downsized his breeding program over the years with a goal of keeping more racehorses and the chance for a faster return on the track and not being forced to wait on pregnant mares and growing foals.

He’s certainly very familiar with both. Shapoff, who races in the name of Chevalier Stable, grew up in racing, the son of a trainer and grandson of trainers. He’s owned and bred horses since the early 1970s and some, Expensive Decision, Forever Silver and Silver of Silver to name just three, competed on racing’s biggest stages.

That makes it all the more remarkable that he and trainer Karl Grusmark were patient enough to wait a year for just the right spot to run Sinistra. The spot was the $100,000 Evan Shipman Stakes at 9 furlongs and even though Sinistra raced plenty in the last year, and even at that distance downstate, the trip and track was what they sought. Sinistra made the most of the chance and sprang the upset of the young Saratoga meeting, winning Thursday’s Evan Shipman for New York-breds at 27-1.

“He’d previously beaten a couple horses in the race, but the real thing is he wanted to run a mile and an eighth,” Shapoff said of his homebred 4-year-old gelding by New York-based stallion Stonesider. “We’ve been waiting a year. A year. Every time we tried to enter him in a race at a mile and an eighth it wouldn’t fill.”

To read the rest of the Evan Shipman recap, access Friday's digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by Keeneland Sales.