Jones On Return Of Shanghai Phil


The fourth race at Georgian Downs on Tuesday has an unexpected entrant


Quebec-owned Shanghai Phil, a $500,000 winner whose last win came six years ago against the mighty Rocknroll Hanover, will make his first start in five years in a $10,000 pace.

Trainer and co-owner Dustin Jones said the now-8-year-old son of Blissfull Hall returned to Quebec last fall after one breeding season in Ontario at Kendal Hills Stud Farm. Retired after a disappointing 3-year-old season, he stood previously in Quebec, but the collapse of the harness racing industry in that province meant his offspring reached maturity at the same time the sires stakes program disappeared.

With his breeding career in limbo, and the horse in visibly good shape from his time at Kendal Hills, Jones decided to put him back into training.

On Thursday, he won a qualifier at Mohawk in 1:55.2 with Keith Oliver in the sulky. Sylvain Filion will do the driving Tuesday at Georgian.

"He got the eight hole but he should race good, the way he's come back. He seems really happy, like he was at 2 (when he finished third in the finals of both the Metro and Breeders Crown). We're not going to make a decision off one race; we'll give him five or six races, see what happens," said Jones, who has a quarter-interest in the horse. The principal owner is Quebec businessman Tony Infilise.

(A Trot Insider exclusive by Paul Delean)

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