Former Jorge Navarro-trained sprint star Shancelot to join Steve Asmussen

Horse Racing Shancelot
Shancelot: set to join Steve Asmussen after leaving Jorge Navarro. Photo: NYRA/Coglianese

By Nicholas Godfrey

USA: Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up Shancelot, one of the most exciting sprinters in America, is to join the Steve Asmussen stable from trainer Jorge Navarro, one of the trainers at the centre of the alleged doping conspiracy that last month engulfed US racing.

According to the Paulick Report, the four-year-old – stunning 12½-length winner of the G2 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga last summer – will arrive at Asmussen’s barn some time in May

Shancelot’s Beyer speed figure of 121 for the Amsterdam was the highest ever achieved in the 27-year history of the speed figures that are accorded close to scriptural status in the States.

An intended runner at the Saudi Cup meeting in February, Shancelot has been at Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center (KESMARC) since mid-February for treatment of what owner Michelle Crawford described as a “10 per cent” tear in a tendon.

“He had treatment at KESMARC and has been rehabilitating there,” she told Ray Paulick. “He’s doing very well and has been under tack. They said he’s a couple of weeks away from going back to the track.”

Soon after Shancelot left Navarro’s Florida stable, the trainer was among 27 people alongside Saudi Cup-winning trainer Jason Servis indicted on federal charges of misbranding and conspiracy charges as part of a major doping investigation by the FBI. 

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Paulick said Crawford declined to comment about Navarro or two harness trainers she and her husband have employed, Nick Surick and Christopher Oakes, who were also named in the indictment. 

The Crawfords own a major standardbred breeding and racing operation based in Durhamville, New York, with 75 horses in training spread among 22 trainers. They have raced only a handful of thoroughbreds.

After winning the Amsterdam, Shancelot was beaten two noses in the G1 Allen Jerkens before coming second in both the Santa Anita Sprint Championship and then the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, where he was beaten by the now-retired Mitole. The latter was trained by Asmussen, who leads the US in both winners and prize-money for 2020.

• This article contains information originally published in the Paulick Report and is reproduced by permission

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