This filly doesn’t train in Kentucky or Florida, the states best known for producing winners.
Instead, she perfected her craft right here in central Iowa, training alongside a couple dozen horses at Prairie Meadows.
“This is the stall sugar shock was at last summer while she was training in central Iowa before going to Kentucky,” said Aaron Kennedy, co-owner of Sugar Shock.
Sugar Shock is co-owned by Aaron Kennedy, Warren Bush, and their partner Doug Anderson who owns the barn in Altoona.
Her name, like that of many racehorses comes from an old family story.
“It’s from Aaron’s family. When his mom would feed him too much candy and his mom say he’d go into sugar shock,” said Warren Bush, a co-owner.
It would be far from a shock if she places at the Kentucky Oaks, the prelude to the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports”.
From the day she was purchased, owners knew they had a steal.
“She’s got a lot of talent, a lot of heart, and she’s all business on the track,” said Kennedy.
Keegan Murray knows her talent first hand.
He’s been galloping horses at Prairie Meadows for three years and from several training runs can tell there is something about special about Sugar Shock.
“She’s got a nice stride to her, she’s really smooth, she’s relaxed, and knows her job,” said Murray.
A win at the Kentucky Oaks would bring owners a $600,000 payday.
Most importantly, owners hope having a Kentucky Derby weekend champion would bring local exposure to the sport.
“Anytime something Iowa does well in big events, I think everyone wishes them well,” said Bush.
Sugar Shock isn’t the first horse with Iowa ties to compete at Churchill Downs.
In 2012, Dullahan, a horse owned by local attorney Jerry Crawford finished third in the Kentucky Derby.