“He’s certainly a trooper,” said Mark Ford, the horse’s conditioner and co-owner. “He has his quirks and some issues here and there, but it was nice to see him go over that mark Saturday night.”
The son of Four Starzzz Shark and Riverview Diamond, who is also owned by VIP Internet Stable, Robert DiNozzi and Mo Coo Inc., was fifth in his debut on July 3, 2008 under the care of former owner David Sabatelli in a $28,165 Pennsylvania Sire Stake at The Meadows and broke his maiden on July 11 in a $20,000 Reynolds contest at Pocono Downs. For the season, the 2-year-old earned $19,559 with a record of 5-2-0-1.
|River Shark has raced 124 times in his career, with earnings of $1,005,742.|
Sold at the 2007 Lexington Selected Sale for $9,000, River Shark returned to work as a sophomore on February 12, 2009 with an 11th place showing in a $12,500 leg of the Junior Trendsetter Series at the Meadowlands. His next engagements all resulted in second place finishes in the first two legs of the Matt’s Scooter at the Meadowlands on March 6 and 13 prior to another second place in the $104,400 final on March 21.
On April 4, the gelding returned to the winner’s circle with a victory in the $22,500 first leg of the Suslow Series at the Meadowlands and went on to annex the second leg on April 11 en route to another win in the $67,000 final on April 18.
His next stop was a triumph in his $25,000 Berry’s Creek elimination on May 2, but River Shark failed to fire in the $230,000 final the following week and came home 10th. He repeated this pattern with a second in his $25,012 Hempt elimination at Pocono Downs on May 16 and a ninth in the $300,140 final on May 23.
With a trip to Flamboro Downs on August 16, River Shark added another win to his resume in his $45,500 Confederation Cup elimination and followed this effort with a second in the $509,600 final. His last appearances in 2009 were a fourth placed third in his $97,464 Little Brown Jug elimination on September 24 and a fourth in the $292,392 final later that afternoon.
He ended his second year on the job with $326,078 in the bank from 21 starts with six wins, five seconds and four thirds.
The gelding commenced his 4-year-old year with a fourth in a $40,000 first leg of the Aquarius Series at the Meadowlands on February 6 and swept the next $40,000 leg on February 13 as well as the $80,000 final on February 20.
Shortly after the series, River Shark entered Ford’s barn and competed in the Levy Series beginning on March 27 at Yonkers Raceway. He won two $50,000 legs on April 3 and 17, was second in another on April 24, before finishing seventh placed fifth in the $460,000 final on May 1.
In his next five starts, primarily in Open handicaps, his best placing was a third at Yonkers Raceway on June 19, but after some time off the gelding won the $8,400 Miracle Mile at Vernon Downs on September 25 in a track record performance of 1:50.3.
“He had a little break and we brought him back right before that race at Vernon,” Ford explained. “He had a spiral fracture in a cannon bone, but we found it right away. We wanted to see what we could do with him and he hasn’t had any real break since then. Since that time, he is still going strong.”
His last victory for the season was in a $19,000 conditioned event at Harrah's Chester on Dec. 20, but he continued to pick up checks at Yonkers, Chester and Saratoga Raceway throughout the fall of 2010. From 25 trips to the post, River Shark collected $208,065 and posted a resume of 8-2-2.
Over the last two seasons, the gelding has amassed $440,790 from 72 miles. He’s won 16 times, been second on nine occasions and third in 11 instances, while contesting races at the Meadowlands, Yonkers, Pocono and Saratoga. He lowered his lifetime mark to 1:48.4 last year at age six and as mentioned earlier took his first start this year in 1:50.1.
“We’ve been racing him a lot at Yonkers because we can’t get him in very much at the Meadowlands,” Ford said. “He’s much better on a bigger track, as he takes himself up on the turns at Yonkers and sometimes that can be good or it can be bad. He picks away at it there though and he’s made quite a bit of money for his efforts.
“There really are not a lot of opportunities for him, as we don’t want to put him in a claimer,” he continued. “That’s why I took him to Yonkers this week, because I was afraid I couldn’t get him in at the Meadowlands. Maybe in hindsight I should have put him in the Presidential, because he could have went with some of them.”
As long as River Shark is still keen to work, his connections will maintain the schedule he’s been on the last several seasons.
“We really do very little with him and still raced him 47 times last year,” Ford said. “Everybody says I should just give him some time, but I don’t agree. It’s a lot harder training one like him instead of racing them. You just have to keep going on with them.
“He’s just like Silent Swing, who is one of the best horses I’ve ever been around,” he continued. “I bought him two years ago with a partner and brought him down from Toronto. Horses like those two aren’t fancy, but you are always looking for one that’s just like them.”