Graded Stakes Winner Crafty Shaw Retired

Charles Cella's Crafty Shaw, a graded stakes winner during four consecutive years, has been retired because of an ankle injury, trainer Pete Vestal said today.

The 7-year-old horse, by Crafty Prospector out of the Air Forbes Won mare Her She Shawklit, won 15 of 44 starts and earned $1,046,440.

Crafty Shaw will remain with Vestal until the Saratoga meeting ends in a few weeks, and then ship with the stable to Kentucky.

"We had hoped to race him through the fall, but he has a little hitch in his left front ankle and it has not responded to treatment," Vestal said.

Bred in Kentucky by Lance Robinson, Crafty Shaw was purchased by the Mackin family's Lucky Seven Stable for $130,000 at the 1999 Keeneland September sale. He was purchased privately by Cella during the spring of his 4-year-old year. Vestal trained him for both owners.

Crafty Shaw won the Rebel Stakes (gr. III) but then cracked a pastern in his right hind leg in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II). No surgery was required, and he returned to racing in seven months.

"He really got hot when we brought him back," Vestal said. Indeed, Crafty Shaw won four of his next five starts including three stakes.

Besides the Rebel, he won the Turfway Park Championship Stakes (gr. III) in 2002 and 2003, the Hanshin Cup Handicap (gr. III) in 2004, and the Essex Handicap (gr. III) in 2002. He also won four non-graded stakes, and ran second or third in nine graded stakes.

Crafty Shaw came up short in some big races against tough competition. He was beaten a head by Lido Palace in the Clark Handicap (gr. II), and finished fourth behind Perfect Drift, Mineshaft, and Aldeberan in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I),

"He's not as talented as some I've trained but he is certainly as effective," Vestal said. "Ide was the best I trained; Williamstown had more talent but he was tough to train. Crafty Shaw gave it all every time he went out there; he's very aggressive; that cost him some races.

"We feel like he can be a sire," Vestal said of Crafty Shaw. "Probably not in Kentucky, but in Florida, Louisiana, or New York. Mr. Cella wants to sell half and breed some of his mares to him.

"Crafty Prospector put speed in him, and won quite a few at a flat mile, which is a good sire distance. He didn't win a grade I but he ran against many that did and gave them a race."