SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The last time trainer Jonathan Sheppard was shut out at Saratoga, Lyndon Johnson was in the White House. That was in August of 1968, and the next summer the transplanted Englishman began a Spa streak that may last forever.
When 7-1 shot Razzle Jazil won Saturday's fifth race, it was the 46th consecutive year in which Sheppard, 73, has had at least one victory here. He wasn't around to celebrate, having gone to Parx, near Philadelphia, to saddle a horse in a $75,000 stakes. He won that one, too.
"Nice to get that monkey off my back," Sheppard joked in a phone interview with Newsday. "To be truthful, I didn't even know about it until a few years ago, when the media brought it to my attention. Now with nine or 10 races a day at a 40-day meeting, it's not hard to win once. But back in the day it was only four weeks, and the leading trainer would have only eight or nine winners."