Content by Jennie Rees (Photo: Trainer Shea Stuart and Tut’s Revenge at Ellis Park)
HENDERSON, Ky. (Monday, Aug. 1, 2022) — Trainer Shea Stuart, in his first full summer racing in Kentucky, has a three-horse stable. But two of those horses are scheduled to run in stakes this weekend at the RUNHAPPY Meet at Ellis Park.
Stuart plans to run Tut’s Revenge in either Saturday’s $70,000 R.A. Cowboy Jones Overnight Stakes at a mile on dirt or Sunday’s $100,000 Evan Williams Turf Mile, a race in which Tut’s Revenge was second last year. Stuart also has Pyramid Princess for Sunday’s $100,000 Centennial Distaff Turf Mile, a race he hopes serves as a launching pad to running next month at Kentucky Downs.
Both horses are owned by Iowa-based Claim to Fame Stable and are related – in human terms, Pyramid Princess would be Tut’s Revenge’s aunt.
Tut’s Revenge finished second by a neck in the $75,000 Jeff Hall Memorial on July 24. Sunday’s $100,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at 5 1/2 furlongs is a third option for this weekend for the 6-year-old gelding. The 11-time career winner also was second in an Ellis Park allowance last summer, leaving him with three seconds in three starts at the track, the defeats coming by two necks and a half-length.
“He ran good on the dirt, so we have a lot of options with him,” Stuart said. “We’ve already run second in a stakes here, and he won a stakes at Canterbury. We’ll see which race here looks easier, and try to run in the best spot where we can get in the winner’s circle.
“He’s awesome. He’s going to try 100 percent whenever he goes out there. He’s just really cool to be around. Very happy boy. Likes his friends. Loves peppermints – gets about a bag a day. He’s right there every race, and he likes it here. Likes to watch the horses train, watches the races every day.”
Pyramid Princess is out of the Elusive Quality mare Triple O’Five, who already has produced three stakes-winners. That includes Cat Five’ O, the mom of Tut’s Revenge.
The 4-year-old Pyramid Princess will make her stakes debut after winning three of her five starts. She will be racing for the first time since capturing a second-level allowance race March 5 at Sam Houston in Texas.
“She’s had three really good works here so far,” Stuart said. “She was at Keeneland before she came here. Hopefully she’s ready to roll.”
The 38-year-old Stuart is a third generation trainer around the Midwest and Southwest. He works in conjunction with his dad, Clinton, the winner of 1,170 races and currently stabled at Minnesota’s Canterbury Park. Shea Stuart’s first venture to the Pea Patch was last summer, when he was here for a month with Tut’s Revenge, a triple stakes-winner who has earned of $457,972.
Either Tut’s Revenge or Pyramid Princess could give Stuart his first victory at the Pea Patch. With his third horse, My My Munny, finishing fifth in an allowance race Sunday after an earlier runner-up effort, Stuart has four seconds out of five career Ellis Park starts. He’s hoping this meet proves the launching pad to a Kentucky base at Ellis Park while returning to Oaklawn Park for the winter.
“I’m content to just have a small little stable,” said Stuart, who is expecting to add several 2-year-olds to his Ellis stable soon. “I do most of the work myself. I’m trying to get moved into Kentucky. It’s pretty nice because I can stay here and just go into Hot Springs (Arkansas, for Oaklawn’s five-month meet). I love the facilities here. Knock on wood, I’ve had nothing but good luck here. It’s a nice place to train. It’s quiet. I love it here.”
The Cowboy Jones Memorial pays tribute to the Ellis Park icon known as much for being a character as for his riding, which included him just falling just short of becoming the first jockey to win a race in seven different decades. Jones died April 25 at age 79.
Saturday’s $70,000 stakes kicks off a big weekend, with Ellis Park staging four $100,000 turf stakes on Sunday: Evan Williams Turf Mile, Centennial Distaff Turf Mile, Twin Spires Turf Sprint and Laguna Distaff Turf Sprint. Sunday also is RUNHAPPY Dollar Day.
Racing resumes Friday, Aug. 5, with a 12:50 p.m. CT post. With five wins this past weekend, Brian Hernandez has a 12-9 lead in the jockey standings over Gerardo Corrales halfway through the meet. John Ortiz won Sunday’s first race with Frisco Line for his eighth win of the meet, giving him an 8-7 edge over Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen for leading trainer. At 4-for-7, Doubledown Stables continues to top the owner standings.