Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh is hoping his undefeated freshman pacing filly will live up to her pedigree when she goes postward for the Whenuwishuponastar Stakes final this Thursday at Mohawk Racetrack.Shelliscape is a perfect three-for-three with a 1:53.4 lifetime mark and $27,000 in the bank so far.
The daughter of Artiscape-Shell I Scoot was a $25,000 Lexington Select purchase. She was only one of two yearlings that McIntosh purchased for himself last fall and it was her pedigree that made her stand out.
"She’s an Artiscape," said McIntosh of his filly’s sire, who was one of his trainees who earned $1,469,461 between 1997 and 1998, en route to being voted three-year-old pacing colt of the year on both sides of the border. "There are still some good Artiscapes around and she caught my eye. Her maternal line was Shell I Scoot, which Bill Wellwood raced. I always liked that mare, she showed some speed. I wasn’t looking to spend a lot of money and she was just a very correct filly. It was just an attractive pedigree and attractive filly."
McIntosh is pleased with his brown filly, especially with her size as she grew a lot over the winter, but he notes she has a bit of an attitude.
"She reminds me of Artiscape’s dam, Delinquent Account. I trained her too as a 4- and 5-year-old and [Shelliscape] is going to be big like her," he said. "She can be a little bit grouchy in the barn, but that’s a lot like how Delinquent Account was. Hopefully she’s that good."
The veteran conditioner trained Delinquent Account in 1992 and 1993. The mare was a familiar face in the Fillies and Mares Open at Greenwood Raceway, earning $1,038,997 lifetime.
Shelliscape was a dream to get to the races, thriving on work. "When some fillies train they tend to shrink up and lose weight when they start to race," said McIntosh. "If anything, she puts on weight and she is extremely good gaited. She’s a very smart filly and you can drive her with two fingers. She was just perfect from day one. She never really gave me a day’s grief."
Being realistic, McIntosh says they all get beat sometime, but he believes his 2-year-old pacing miss could be right there at the end if she gets a clean trip in the $50,000 final.
"There are a couple nice fillies in there, but it all comes down to a little bit of racing luck," he said. "She’s got enough talent to win."
McIntosh will be looking to notch his eighth Whenuwishuponastar victory, a stakes race that was named after his great mare Whenuwishuponastar who found the winner’s circle 16 times in 17 starts in 1996, before being voted two-year-old pacing filly of the year in Canada.
Shelliscape is owned by McIntosh, CSX Stables and DM Stables LLC. She will leave from post four for driver Randy Waples in Thursday’s fifth race. (WEG)