Wilgerbosdrift’s exciting young sire Soft Falling Rain received a handsome update to his already stellar female line this weekend.
Unbeaten colt, Shagaf, landed the G3 Gotham Stakes by 1.25 lengths to stamp himself as a potential contender for this year’s Kentucky Derby.
A son of Bernardini, Shagaf (now unbeaten in three outings) will now be aimed at the G1 Wood Memorial, to be run at Aqueduct on April 9th, following his win in Saturday’s $400 000 contest.
The colt, who is trained by Chad Brown, broke his maiden on debut when scoring by six lengths over 1600m at Aqueduct, and followed that debut win up with a allowance race win, before picking up his initial black type win in Saturday’s Gotham Stakes.
Despite racing wide around the turn, Shagaf ran on strongly, under regular rider Irad Ortiz JR, to defeat front runner Laoban by a length and a quarter, with Adventist back in third place.
The Gotham is a race with an outstanding history, whose past victors include Triple Crown hero Secretariat, champions Easy Goer and Dr Fager, promising young sire Visionaire and the latter’s outstanding grandsire Gone West.
The royally bred Shagaf, whose sire Bernardini won the 2006 G1 Preakness Stakes, is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Muhaawara.
The latter is out of the top class racemare Habibti –who won both the G1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes and G1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes. At stud, Habibti (by Tabasco Cat) produced Breeders’ Cup winner Eldaafer (by A P Indy), who banked more than $1 000 000 during his career.
Habibti’s second dam is Quillummo –a winning daughter of Gummo.
Quillummo is also the third dam of former Equus Champion 2YO and popular young sire Soft Falling Rain.
Bred by Highlands Farm, Soft Falling Rain was an outstanding racehorse and champion at two, who won his first seven races in a row, with his wins including the G1 SA Nursery, G2 UAE 2000 Guineas and G2 Godolphin Mile. The son of National Assembly also went on to taste success in Britain, where he romped home to record a facile win in the G2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket.
He stood his first season at Wilgerbosdrift last year for a fee of R40 000.