SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Jonathan Sheppard’s streak of winning a race at Saratoga for 47 consecutive years is in jeopardy.
His best chance at the meet, Castle Hill, finished second as the favorite in a steeplechase allowance race on Thursday, making Sheppard winless with 12 starters at the meet. That was his third runner-up finish of the meet.
Sheppard has one starter Saturday, King’s Obsession, in a tough first-level allowance race on dirt, and one starter, War Baby, a 3-year-old filly, in a maiden turf race on Monday.
War Baby finished first in a Pennsylvania-bred maiden race at Parx earlier this year but was disqualified. She then finished third in a restricted stakes at Presque Isle Downs.
“She’s legitimate,” Sheppard said.
Sheppard’s streak started in 1969.
“I don’t want to sound flippant, but I was very proud I was able to do it for so long, and you know it’s not going to last forever,” Sheppard said. “At some point, you have to accept it. Just like death and taxes, it’s going to come eventually.
“I’ve mentally geared myself up before we even came up here because I knew we didn’t have that strong a string. We’ll give it two more shots.”
Tom Franklin is a senior contributor at US Racing.