Trainer Scott Lake did not hide his disappointment that Robert L. Cole Jr.'s Shake You Down was not among the top three finalists for an Eclipse Award as top sprinter in North America for 2003. After all, the son of Montbrook--Mauvin Gway (by Rajab) had seven victories and four placings, all at the sprint distance of six furlongs, during last year's campaign.
On Saturday, Lake and Shake You Down got their reward when the 6-year-old gelding zipped to victory in the $300,000 Padua Stables Sprint at Gulfstream Park. Ridden by Mike Luzzi, Shake You took the lead shortly after the first quarter-mile and then led through fractions of :44.30 and :56.24 for five furlongs en route to a three-length triumph over Green Team. Sent off as the 3-5 choice, Shake You Down stopped the timer in 1:09.18 for six furlongs.
The winner paid $3.20, $2.60, and $2.10. Green Team, a ship-in from the West Coast, paid $3.80 and $2.40. Valid Video, winner of the Ocala Stud Oaks on the inaugural Sunshine Millions card in 2003, finished third, paying $2.40.
"It could not have worked out better," lake said. "He came away good and I told Luzzi just to track the 1(Love My Mountain). When he gets to the lead he tends to dog it. He only does what he has to do. The best claim I've ever had. He should have been considered for Eclipse Award-winning sprinter because he was consistent all year long. He won't go to Dubai, he's a bad bleeder. He's done well in new York, so we'll take him there."
With the victory, Shake You Down became a millionaire, with earnings of $1,163,560. Bred in Florida by Ocala Stud Farm, Shake You Down has now won 15 of 37 lifetime, with 10 additional second- or third-place finishes.
The Padua Stables Sprint marked the 2004 debut for Shake You Down, who completed his 2003 season with a victory in the Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.