Haskin's Derby Trail: Shakin It Up on Silver Alert

Bob Baffert has taken numerous paths to the Kentucky Derby, but perhaps the one he’ll remember most fondly is the one taken by his first Derby winner, Silver Charm.

Looking back, the path Silver Charm took was not a conventional one, considering at this point, he had never run farther than seven furlongs. Well, don’t look now, but with all the potential Derby horses Baffert has in his barn this year, there is one who is on an almost identical path as Silver Charm.

Shakin It Up made his career debut at seven furlongs, finishing second under jockey David Flores. Silver Charm made his career debut at seven furlongs, finishing second under jockey David Flores.

For Shakin It up’s second start, Baffert made an equipment change, putting blinkers on. For Silver Charm’s second start, Baffert made an equipment change, taking the blinkers off.

Shakin It Up responded with a victory in his second start, again ridden by David Flores. Silver Charm responded with a victory in his second start, again ridden by David Flores.

Baffert then put Shakin It Up in a seven-furlong stakes race, the Real Quiet Stakes, in which he finished a fast-closing third, beaten only three-quarters of a length and earning a 96 Beyer Speed Figure. Baffert put Silver Charm in a seven-furlong stakes race, the Del Mar Futurity, which he won by a head, earning a 97 Beyer Speed Figure.

Shakin It Up did not run again as a 2-year-old. Silver Charm did not run again as a 2-year-old.

Shakin It Up made his 3-year-old debut in the seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes, winning by one length as the 2.20-1 second choice. Silver Charm made his 3-year-old debut in the seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes, winning by 1 ¾ lengths as the 2.60-1 second choice.

When Silver Charm won the Kentucky Derby, Baffert was coming off the most heart-breaking defeat of his career in the previous year’s Derby with Cavonnier, who ran one of the greatest losing races in Derby history. This year, Baffert will be going into the Derby off a defeat almost as heart-breaking, as Bodemeister ran one of the greatest losing races in Derby history.

When Baffert won the Derby with Silver Charm for owners Bob and Beverly Lewis, the first thing he did on the winner’s podium was thank his good friend Mike Pegram for bringing him into Thoroughbred racing. Pegram, of course, is co-owner of Shakin It Up.

Oh, and by the way, Shakin It Up’s sire, Midnight Lute, an Eclipse Award champion, was trained by Baffert and owned in partnerhip by Pegram. Midnight Lute’s sire, Real Quiet, an Eclipse Award champion, was trained by Baffert and owned by Pegram. Shakin It Up’s broodmare sire, Vindication, an Eclipse Award champion, was trained by Baffert. Shakin It Up’s maternal granddam, Silverbulletday, an Eclipse Award champion, was trained by Baffert and owned by Pegram.

Of course, none of this means that Shakin It up is going to win the Kentucky Derby, but it is quite an interesting parallel and it is doubtful Baffert has ever had one in his barn with so many close ties in one pedigree.

Second wave waiting in the wings

This is not only a big weekend for established stars such as Violence, Normandy Invasion, Falling Sky, Oxbow, and He’s Had Enough, it is a chance for a number of new faces to stamp themselves as legitimate Derby contenders and possibly begin the overthrow of the old regime. Do we really know how good Proud Strike, Departing, Mylute, Code West, Palace Malice, Orb, Majestic Hussar, Elmutahid, Cerro, and Sky Captain are? A victory by any of these could catapult them right up near the head of the list. And let’s not forget a sneaky horse like Speak Logistics, a talented stakes-winning colt who might have won the Sam F. Davis if he didn’t have to take up on the turn while challenging for the lead. He will be pretty much ignored in the Fountain of Youth betting and has a big chance at an upset. Oh, yes, Joel Rosario rides for the first time. And on the Fountain of Youth undercard is the highly regarded Crop Report, making his U.S. debut for Graham Motion and Team Valor, who also have Cerro. He has yet to run on dirt, but his connections are very high on him.

Looking down the road, here are a few way-under-the-radar horses who could pop into the Derby picture. Mudflats, who ran a deceptively good race in the San Vicente Stakes, despite his sixth-place finish; watch out if he gets a good trip next time out; Tiz a Minister and Omega Star, who finished a strong 1-2 in a Cal-bred allowance race and appear to have a bright future; Carve, a huge claim by Steve Asmussen from Claiborne and Dilschneider who turned in a powerful stretch run to defeat Baffert’s Title Contender in an Oaklawn allowance race; Governor Charlie, who is way down the Baffert ladder right now, but should start making some noise after his gutsy maiden score at a mile over the highly touted Footbridge, in which they ran a full second and two-fifths faster than the other division earlier on the card won by Kid Dreams; Saint Prado, who blew by Baffert’s 1-5 favorite Del Mar Sunset to win a seven-furlong maiden race by almost three lengths; and Transparent, who got wiped out on the backstretch and still drew off to win easily.


Leave a Comment:

Point Given

Majestic Hussar- FOY

Code West-Risen Star

Midnight Ballet-Rachel Alexaner

Private Ensign-Davona Dale.

21 Feb 2013 2:06 PM

Great observation here Steve. This colt Shakin It Up is a real contender and deserves to be a fixation in your Derby Dozen.

21 Feb 2013 3:27 PM

Loved Midnight Lute, loved Real Quiet, would love to see Shakin It Up do it this year. Thanks for the fun article Steve. Im sure Mr. Baffert and Mr Pegram are smiling as they read it.

21 Feb 2013 3:47 PM

Trainers love winning patterns....it all goes out the window if he gets post 1 or 20.

22 Feb 2013 9:29 AM
Shelby's Best Pal

Your knowledge of this sport continues to impress.  Thanks for seeing the connections.

22 Feb 2013 2:33 PM

Doesn't look like another Silver Charm to me and I don't mean color.

22 Feb 2013 3:36 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

If Shakin It Up wins The Derby I don't think they'll be slamming them down and partying til dawn this time but then again you never really know what path a Derby win will put you on. Does anyone know what Paynter is up to? I wish tomorrow would get here fast.

22 Feb 2013 6:37 PM
Pedigree Ann

Silver Charm was by a G1 winner at 10f (G1 Suburban H), out of a winner of 11 races in 63 starts, with an 18/4-3-4 record going 2 turns, by turf marathoner Poker.

Shakin It Up is by a sprint champion who may or may not have been able to run longer and who had several major layoffs in his CV. And out of an unraced mare by a champion 2yo who did not run thereafter due to injury.

Silver Charm was bred to be able to run long and to be tough and durable. Can't say the same about Shakin It Up.

22 Feb 2013 7:42 PM

One piece of information I remember is that Silver Charms dam Bonnies Poker had over 100 lifetime starts.

23 Feb 2013 4:32 PM

This early you never know what they're going to do until they do it.

24 Feb 2013 10:55 AM

Boy, that's an interesting parallel. You never know in this game who will win the roses. I always said if a horse runs long enough, they will taste defeat at some point. I think someone forgot to tell Black Caviar that. 23-0, whoo! whoo! You go girl.

24 Feb 2013 11:56 AM

I just can't see any predictions made about this colt when he's still running in sprints.  Let me see what he can do going 9f...10f...12f

Midnight Lute was a beautiful, talented sprinter, and his progeny are making their presence felt on the Derby scene, not with a whimper, but with a bang!  Shakin It Up has a lot to speak well for his dam's side. (now, you know I'm kinda particular about the Slews, especially a Vindication).  

But Silver Charm had a power house pedigree, both top and bottom. Poker was dam sire not only to Silver Charm, but also to Slew.

For all their similarities, I think this is a bit of a stretch.

24 Feb 2013 5:04 PM
Linda in Texas

Violence - when did he fracture his sesamoid? I watched him closely the entire race and i did pick up on a quirk in his step. I was hoping i was wrong and today i see he is out of the Derby Trail. Makes me not want to watch. Power up to all those who do so well then suddenly their luck turns on them.

24 Feb 2013 6:21 PM

It's not always the best, the fastest, or the the most talented pony who wins the roses. It comes down to who can stay together long enough to make it into the gate. From that point on, it's largely about luck. Violence's luck ran out before he even got the chance to go to Churchill Downs. Really sad, because it's so common. The sport loses so much potential talent before they reach the ripe old age of 4. I expect it now, even though I'll never accept it. There has to be a way to drop the number of race related injuries. I'll always hope for that day to come. God speed Violence, better luck in your next "life".

25 Feb 2013 6:42 PM

Linda...I don't really know, but Violence did seem to tire and shorten his stride in the final furlong.  He came out of the FOY with the fracture.

26 Feb 2013 8:00 AM
Mister Frisky

Midnight Lute has a lot off stamina in his ped top and bottom.Was surprised he was best going short.This looks like a Baffert horse I can get behind emotionally and financially.Thanks for keeping us updated Steve.

27 Feb 2013 6:31 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  My Derby Dozen Research Team has been working day and night, and they have presented me with a prospectus that has given me a new perspective at this still early date but it has reinvigorated me and I am excited about Shakin It Up. There are big changes to my Derby Dozen and Shakin It Up is way up there. Time will tell, but I like his pedigree and I think he's going to The Derby. His speed figures aren't quite there yet but I think they will be when he stretches out. I don't think he's a sprinter. I don't think it's a bit of a stretch at all. You know the power of the dam side but Midnight Lute's pedigree is definitely strong enough for The Derby. Midnight Lute was a sprinter and miler but he could produce any kind especially with that kind of a bottom.

01 Mar 2013 9:36 AM
Fran Loszynski

Santa  Anita  here. Comes. Called. To. Serve. And. Gary. Stevens. Steve. This. Is. An. Alert. New. Computer. Steve. Can. You. Tell. Ha. Ha

01 Mar 2013 12:47 PM
Linda in Texas

For Game on Dude - - and his fans.

I feel so privileged to be able to watch a horse as amazing as Game On Dude win over and over, no matter his owners, his trainer, his jockey,(probably more kudos should go to his keepers in the barn) but makes little difference to him, he is there to do a job. He is all business, period. On the track he runs, in his stall he eats, greets and sleeps, and on the track again he races like there is no tomorrow. His concentration is astounding and above reproach and to watch it as it occurs during a race is an absolute treat, i simply adore Game on Dude. Said so 2 years ago and i still do today. He glides as he guides his strides in a way that seems effortless. To me he looks like he could race with a book on top of his head and it wouldn't fall off. Nice ride Mikey Smith!  And owners, lucky you, all!

Game on Dude will long be remembered and truly is one for the books.

I just rewatched the race three times. When Game on Dude was on the outside just as he exited the gates, he seemed to cock his head as if to hear the message from Mike that he could head for the rail. And he did, headed right for it. Go back and watch. AND further, Game on Dude had his ears down, even as he was so many lengths ahead, but when he saw the wire nearing, they went up as if to say, we did it.

I love The Dude. Do you all hear him thinking? I do.

A nice day of racing for many. And i saw no breakdowns or accidents which added to the positivity of the day.

And Comma To The Top, i was pulling for also. He did not disappoint either. I love them all to be honest.

Thanks, Steve. And friends, wasn't that awesome?


03 Mar 2013 4:21 PM

If I recall, Silver Charm got about a 110 BSF for his San Vincente win compared to an 86 for Shakin it Up....or about 11 lengths faster at 7 furlongs. so while there may be a lot of superficial similarities between the two colts, in the one area that really matters....ability to run fast.....Shakin it Up has a lot of catching up to do to be considered on the same level as Silver Charm.  

05 Mar 2013 8:51 AM
Dannyboy 357

This is for Pedigree Ann and others,if interested.Silver Charm's dam,Bonnie's Poker had 63 starts in her carrer.(My source:pedigreequery.com).

20 Mar 2013 1:02 AM
Dannyboy 357

They train the horses to run with the best.The better trainers train "each individual horse",at their own pace.Bob Baffert is a trainer,a sportsman,a parent and a gentleman.I would not leave "Shaking It Up" off my tickets,if he shows up the first Saturday in May.

20 Mar 2013 1:11 AM
Dannyboy 357

Big Brown had post 20.

20 Mar 2013 1:13 AM

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