Ironicus Set for Return in Shadwell Turf Mile October 8
With six wins and five runner-up finishes in 13 starts, Ironicus will be a strong choice in the Shadwell Turf Mile October 8 at Keeneland. Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, Ironicus worked at Belmont for a second consecutive week and breezed a half mile in 48.88 seconds Sunday. Ironicus continued to train on the dirt despite racing exclusively on grass since his first career start in 2013.
“He was excellent,” McGaughey said. “As of right now, he seems to be doing everything the right way.”
Ironicus started her stakes career in style, winning the Grade II Dixie Stakes at Pimlico last year in May. He followed that with an allowance score before running second in the Fourstardave Handicap (G2) at Saratoga last August and then winning the Bernard Baruch Handicap (G2) in September.
A return to racing was a winning one in this year’s Fort Marcy Stakes (G3) at Belmont May 7. Ironicus then showed well with a runner-up finish in the Grade I Manhattan Stakes at Belmont, finishing behind top turf runner Flintshire.
Ironicus has been rested since that race to recover from a popped splint. He began his preparations for a return to racing before Labor Day.
“I thought it went very well and he came back good,” said McGaughey of Ironicus’ work September 4.
Ironicus was not quite ready to return to racing to defend his title in this year’s Bernard Baruch Handicap September 5, but he’ll be fit and ready for next month’s big Grade I race at keeneland.
Ironicus will be going in search of his first Grade 1 in the Shadwell Turf Mile, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita.