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Hard To Dodge The Spotlight

Published: February 6, 2018 2:25 pm ET

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While in discussion with Trot Insider, pilot Robert Shepherd said that he tries to fly under the radar instead of seeking the spotlight. That’s kind of hard to do when you win the last five races on a card to complete a driving six-bagger.

Entering the Tuesday, February 6 card of racing at The Raceway at Western Fair District (click here for the entries), Shepherd has gone postward 175 times thus far this year. Sporting a solid .343 UDR after 35 wins, 35 seconds and 17 thirds, the 37-year-old has put together some solid weeks to start off the campaign. Steering six winners on Flamboro Downs’ program of live racing on Sunday (February 4) just exemplified that.

Reinsmen can never forecast with certainty when a big night is coming, regardless of the posts and classes that their charges have been saddled with. Pilots know that the possibility for multi-win nights are there, but going out and getting it done is another story altogether.

“I thought I had some good chances coming in (to Flamboro’s Sunday card),” Shepherd told Trot Insider, “but, to be honest, I didn’t even realize I had won the last five.”

Shepherd kicked his winning off in Race 4 with Post 6 starter HP Patriot. The 2-1 second choice raced second over and powered off to a three and a half-length win in 1:56.3.

The Shepherd onslaught was in full effect beginning in Race 7. It began when he came three-wide late with even-money favourite Danzig Moon. The duo came on in the stretch to get up by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:59.1.

In Race 8, Shepherd parlayed a Post 2 start with 9-1 Dream On Dream On into a six-length laugher in 1:55.4. Race 9 saw Shepherd grind first-over with 2-1 second choice Little Quick and get up for a neck win in 1:59.2.

Racing as the slight second choice in Race 10, Shepherd captured the $11,500 Preferred 2 Trot with Seeyou Men, who went wire to wire from the rail and won by two and a half lengths in 1:58.2.

Shepherd capped off his night – and the card – with a big win in Race 11. Sent off at odds of 7-1, Ufdragons Rocket cooked the Dundas, Ontario half-miler with a massive off-the-pace win from Post 8. After having fanned widest of all heading for home, Shepherd raced four wide to get up and hang on for a 1:57.2 win by three quarters of a length.

“Honestly, I know it sounds a bit cliché, but I just try to show up every night and try the best I can. I try to work hard, grind things out and get the job done.”

In terms of his success, Shepherd credits his connections as much as his approach to his craft.

“I’ve been lucky enough to get some good drives from good trainers, and that means quite a lot. You’ve got to have some of that power to get the job done, and I’m just appreciative that I’m in the position to be able to reward that support.”


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