Crafty Shaw returned to the winner's circle after eight straight defeats, turning in a fine repeat performance in the $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship (gr. III) Saturday.Trainer Peter Vestal thought it was about time.
"I saw a list of the top 10 horses running in the U.S. today, and he's faced six of them," he said of the 5-year-old chestnut.Crafty Shaw, a Kentucky-bred son of Crafty Prospector, had not won a race since taking an allowance optional claiming race at Oaklawn Park in February. He finished third behind Perfect Drift and Congaree in the Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway two weeks ago."We won this race last year at a mile and an eighth," Vestal continued. "I was glad to see they shortened it to a mile. He's run at a mile and a sixteenth, mile and an eighth, but he's better at a mile. We were pretty confident coming in here."That confidence played out beautifully in the ride Craig Perret gave Crafty Shaw. Breaking from gate 2, Crafty Shaw vied for the lead early and took control by half a length at the half-mile marker. After that it was his race all the way home. Crafty Shaw finished 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Cat Tracker, off at 12-1 odds. Cappuchino was third, three lengths behind the winner. Crafty Shaw, the 3-5 favorite, finished the mile over a fast track in 1:36.89."We put him where he was going to be happy," said Perrett, "and he was happy today."Crafty Shaw earned $62,000 with 11th win in 30 career starts. A Keeneland September purchase for $130,000 in 1999, he has a career bankroll of $746,500.He paid $3.20, $2.60 and $2.10. Cat Tracker returned $5.60 and $2.80. Cappuchino' show was $2.40.Completing the field of eight were Bold Truth, Trion Georgia, Ask the Lord, Sea of Tranquility, and Dayton Flyer.(Chart, Equibase)