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Shamballa Ships Stateside

Published: June 24, 2016 9:36 am ET

Last Comment: June 24, 2016 1:58 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Shamballa will make his return to the United States on Saturday, June 25 at Pocono Downs as he competes in the first of three eliminations for the $500,000 Ben Franklin free-for-all pace.

The six-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding out of the Life Sign dam Bolero Takara has amassed $542,615 in earnings over 48 starts in his career. Of those 48, he has won 22 -- including seven in the Preferred ranks on the WEG circuit in 2015 -- and holds a lifetime mark of 1:48 at Mohawk. He is owned by Rick Zeron Stables, along with partners Tao Racing LLC, Howard Taylor, and Cool Cat Racing Inc.

Last year, Shamballa raced stateside twice, going in the $150,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway and the $138,500 Dayton Pacing Derby at Dayton Raceway. He finished third and second respectively.

“I’ve staked him to just about every race in North America this year,” trainer Rick Zeron said. “I would not be racing Shamballa in races that I don’t think would suit him.”

Shamballa last raced in the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Saturday, June 18, where he finished second to the speedy Always B Miki in his Canadian record effort.

“I think Always B Miki is the fastest horse in North America. Period,” Zeron said.

Chasing Always B Miki in his 1:47.1 performance last week, Zeron said that Shamballa exited the race in fine form.

“This week will be the first time he races back-to-back weeks. With the big stake races, I usually like to give him a week-or-two off in between. He really enjoys that.”

The defining characteristic of Shamballa is his versatility. While he came from off the pace in the Mohawk Gold Cup and demonstrates a talent for kicking by his rivals, he also has the ability to race with the pace.

“He was not versatile when I first got him,” Zeron said. “I was fortunate that he caught on to my training techniques. We get along very well. The bottom line is that this horse found me and I found him.”

Starting from post seven, Shamballa, listed as the 3-1 morning-line second choice, will be driven by Rick’s son, Scott Zeron.

“It feels unbelievable to have my son drive my horses,” Zeron said. “I don’t even have to question myself whether or not to put my son down on a horse. He has an advantage on me because he’s driving better horses than I did at his age. He handles himself well in the bike and has a great technique.

“Scott will be listed to drive Shamballa every race that he’s going to race in the United States this year,” Zeron said.

Wiggle It Jiggleit, the 9-5 morning-line favourite, is entered against Shamballa in the Ben Franklin elimination.

“I think Wiggle It Jiggleit is a great horse, but I don’t put him above my horse,” Zeron said, “because if he can pace in 1:47, so can my horse.”

1. Dudes The Man, Corey Callahan, Jessica Okusko, 15-1
2. Always At My Place, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 9-2
3. Take It Back Terry, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1
4. Ideal Cowboy, David Miller, Jeff Bamond Jr., 6-1
5. State Treasurer, Tim Tetrick, Dr. Ian Moore, 8-1
6. Wiggle It Jiggleit, Montrell Teague, Clyde Francis, 9-5
7. Shamballa, Scott Zeron, Rick Zeron, 3-1
8. Luck Be Withyou, George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes, 10-1

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Ray Cotolo)

June 24, 2016 - 1:58 pmWe will find out tomorrow ,

Mike Scott SAID...

We will find out tomorrow , how Shamballa stacks up against wiggleit jiggleit :))

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