Since Shake You Down was left off the list of finalists for an Eclipse Award as top sprinter of 2003, trainer Scott Lake is eager to get the 6-year-old to the track to prove himself, starting with the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Padua Stables Sprint Jan. 24. Shake You Down won seven races last year, including four graded stakes, all at six furlongs and all since being claimed by Lake last March at Aqueduct. A poor start in the Breeders' Cup Sprint and an upset loss in his only other grade I start, the De Francis Dash, cost the gelding when Congaree, Aldebaran and last week's Mr. Prospector Handicap winner, Cajun Beat, were announced as finalists earlier this week. Now Lake feels his horse will be out to prove that an oversight when he returns in the Sunshine Millions program. "Disappointed. Mad. Upset. Shocked. I'm all of that," said Lake. "Without him (among the finalists) there's not a consistent sprinter that performed well all year at six furlongs." Shake You Down ended 2003 with a victory in the Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct. According to Lake, the son of Montbrook has turned up his game even more since arriving in South Florida. "He's doing tremendous and seems sharper in Florida than he's been in the past, said Lake. "Other times he's been kind of quiet heading to the track, but now he's bucking and kicking and seems to be all business. He's really ready to go. After the Padua Stable Sprint, Lake says he'd like a chance at Cajun Beat again.
"I absolutely think I've got the better horse, said Lake. "I'm not taking anything away from [Cajun Beat], but if we didn't break from the two-hole in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, I think the result would have been different.