After returning Stronach Stables' Shaman Ghost to the worktab, trainer Jimmy Jerkens expressed satisfaction with his contender's preparations thus far for a scheduled start in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 28.
The grade I winner worked a half-mile in :50.50 at Palm Meadows Dec. 18, his first breeze since finishing third in the Nov. 25 Clark Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
"The work was good. I wasn't looking for anything more than that at this stage. I don't have his work schedule planned down to the minute, but we'll have him as ready as we can (for the Pegasus), that is for sure," Jerkens said.
Shaman Ghost, an Adena Springs homebred, won the Woodward (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course in September and earlier in the year captured the Brooklyn Invitational (gr. II) at Belmont Park. He was being pointed to a start in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), but developed a fever and was not eating after arriving in California, and as a result he was scratched.
Jerkens said 4-year-old Shaman Ghost bounced back quickly and was ready for the Clark, which the trainer said was a good race for the son of Ghostzapper .
"I thought it was better than it looked on paper," Jerkens remarked. "I thought the track was pretty speed-biased that day. He made a nice run around the turn, but he was losing ground and they weren't going fast enough up ahead of him to tire in front of him. When he saw that, he got a little disappointed and it looked like he was going to fall out of it, but then he kept going to finish third and I thought that was great. It's always a good sign when they come back on like that."
A rider for Shaman Ghost has yet to be confirmed for the Pegasus World Cup.