So Shiny ~ The Little Horse That Could
Pedigree: Will He Shine-Noble Nannie by Shananie
Owner: Melissa Peach Trainer: Melissa Peach Jockey: Prayven Badrie
If you’re looking for a longshot in the Manitoba Lotteries Derby, “Shiny” might be your horse. Besides the fact that he loves oatmeal cookies, carrots and kids, which would be enough reason to bet on him for some, he also has a few longshot angles going for him.
His sire, Will He Shine, won the 2007 True North Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park at 10-1. His jockey, Prayven Badrie, won the Agassiz Stakes here last year on the longest shot on the board, Hop Along Harry ($55.10). His owner-trainer, 41-year-old “Missy” Melissa Peach, is a farm girl who grew up with horses on the Turtle Mountain Reserve near Belcourt, North Dakota. She has a two-horse stable at the Downs.
In his last start, the Harry Jeffrey Handicap, So Shiny was sent off at odds of 21-1 and came flying late to finish second beaten half a length by fellow Manitoba Lotteries Derby entrant Pleasant Closing. Despite that strong effort in his first try at a distance, So Shiny’s odds aren’t likely to be much lower in the Derby. Still, you can’t underestimate a thoroughbred that is loving life right now, both as a racehorse and as a pet in the Peach barn. Not to mention the fact that his jockey spends quality time with him, walking, talking and taking him out for grass
“He just loves to be loved,” said trainer Sherry Laing, who was looking after So Shiny while Peach was back in North Dakota nursing an injured rotator cuff.
Spotted on a TVG telecast by Melissa’s husband Kelly, who owns a construction business in Turtle Mountain that is now headquartered out of Las Vegas, So Shiny was purchased this spring from trainer David Whited at Oaklawn Park. The Chippewa couple now have eight horses altogether and Peach has been training horses since 1997. She works with the horses during the warmer months and helps her husband with his construction business during the off season.
Badrie says So Shiny is the best 3-year-old he’s ever been aboard. He’s ridden some good ones too, finishing second in a pair of Grade II stakes in Trinidad while riding against the likes of USA stars Alan Garcia, Corey Nakatani and Edgar Prado. On pedigree, however, So Shiny is supposed to be a sprinter like his stakes-winning sire and dam. He even looks very similar to his sire, Will He Shine.
We’ll find out on Derby day.