Marchman Wires 'Em in Shakertown Dash

Marchman Wires 'Em in Shakertown Dash
Photo: Mathea Kelley
Marchman cannot be caught in the Shakertown Stakes.
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Martin Racing Stable's Marchman wasn't highly regarded in the $100,000 Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT), but his 23-1 odds didn't keep him from the winner's circle April 12 at Keeneland (VIDEO).

Sent from the gate by jockey Robby Albarado, the 4-year-old Sharp Humor colt set the pace for a quarter in :22.37 and a half in :45.07, then struck the turn for home with the victory in his sights.

"He broke exceptionally well," Albarado said. "I set him on his feet a little bit and by the time I got to the turn I had to make a conscious decision either go on or take him back. I went on with him and it worked out great. He got through there. Threw his ears up, got comfortable and content."

Kept to the task through five-eighths in :56.48, the big bay held off a powerful inside dash by fellow longshot Positive Side, who settled for second by a neck at 33-1. Something Extra checked in third another three-quarters of a length behind Marchman's final time of 1:02.36 for the 5 1/2 furlong turf sprint.

The victory was Marchman's first in a graded stakes, and improved his record to 3-2-3 from 12 starts with earnings of $225,628 for trainer Bret Calhoun.

"We thought the firm turf here would help him a lot and he obviously likes the grass...Robby made a great decision to ride away from there; he was going easy on the front end," Calhoun said.

Marchman came off a third in the March 15 Colonel Power Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, in which he took the lead but faltered to finish third.

"I rode him last time in New Orleans and he kind of stuck to the fence there. I made the lead for a little point and I kind of let his head go a little bit," Albarado said. "He's a big, heavy horse and he kind of needs you to keep the reins up in his jaw. I held him together when we kicked on for home this time and it worked out at the finish."

Trainer Grant Forster said he found the strength of Positive Side, who was the runner-up in the Colonel Power.

"He ran great and we're excited. We figured out what he wants to do: sprint on the grass," the horseman reported. "I've always had a gut feeling he would like sprinting. He loves to chase horses and it worked out today. Unfortunately, we were just on the wrong end of the decision."

The winner returned $49.60, $22.40, and $14.40 while Positive Side paid $28.20 and $13.40 with Something Extra bringing $5.80. Hogy, Go Blue Or Go Home, Gantry, 3-1 favorite Havelock, Shrinking Violet, No Silent, Channel Marker, Animal Style, and Ancil completed the order of finish.

Marchman was bred in Kentucky by Lynn and Cathy Jones out of the Indian Charlie mare Sookie Sookie and was a $90,000 purchase by Martin at the 2012 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s spring sales of 2-year-olds in trainining when consigned by Seahorse Stables.

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