Shared Sense will aim to finish a fine three-year-old campaign with victory in the $100,000 Discovery at Aqueduct Racetrack this weekend.
The Godolphin homebred has already proved himself in competitive graded stakes company this season and trainer Brad Cox will have high hopes he can bring the curtain down with a flourish by taking the 76th running of the Grade 3 contest.
Having already earned close to $450,000 in prize money this season, Shared Sense arrives into the Discovery on the back of a last-time-out success in the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park in late September.
He registered a personal-best 94 Beyer Speed Figure in that contest, repelling the late challenge of dual winner Mo Mosa in doing so.
Winner of the Indiana Derby over nine-furlongs in July, the son of Street Sense is at home over Saturday’s Discovery trip.
All four of his wins have come at different tracks, with Jimmy Bell, President of Godolphin’s North American operations, paying tribute to that versatility.
“He definitely knows how to take his show on the road,” said, while confirming that is has been a planned journey this season to stay out of the limelight to some degree, with one eye firmly on a four-year-old racing campaign in 2021.
“We’ve sort of chosen the path less travelled,” Bell said. “He’s done fantastic this year. He’s been a bit of an overachiever. He’s run against some tough competition here, there and yonder.”
While looking forward to the Discovery, Bell isn’t anticipating an easy time of it for Shared Sense.
“We gave him a bit of a breather after the last go around. It’s the last chance to run against straight three-year-olds and there’s always some tough knockers up there in New York, so we’re giving it a chance.”
Jockey Jose Lezcano takes the ride on Shared Sense for the first time and they have drawn gate one, as Godolphin bids to win the race for a second time, having scored with Romansh in 2013.
They are set to face four rivals with dual stakes-winner Monday Morning Qb representing trainer Butch Reid, Dale Romans’ Attachment Rate, Forza Di Oro for Hall of Fame handler Bill Mott and South Florida raider Ralston for the Carlos David team also competing for the Discovery.
Forza Di Oro won at Belmont Park in October on his return to action despite a tardy start. It wasn’t his first issue with the starting gates, though plenty work has been done to alleviate concerns and he’s still rated a talented horse by connections.
“Last year, first time out, he stood in the gate and spotted the field many lengths but still came running to be second. We did a lot of gate work with him and he was able to win second out,” said Mott’s assistant Leana Willaford.
“He came back and won well. We thought he was a good horse last year and I still think he is, but we had to get him over a few little speedbumps.”