Posts Tagged ‘Shackleford’

Breeders’ Cup Classic 2011 Report – Tizway Ready for Whitney

Older Males

The road to the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic is back in full swing at Saratoga with the Grade 1 Whitney on August 6th. Post positions will be drawn on Wednesday morning and the stellar field is expected to include Met Mile hero Tizway, Apart, Duke of Mischief, Flat Out, Friend Or Foe, Giant Oak, Mission Impazible, Morning Line, and Rail Trip.

Tizway

Watch out for Tizway in the Whitney - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

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G1 Hollywood Gold Cup winner First Dude has been retired because of a tendon injury. It is a real shame since he was just beginning to hit his stride.

Gold Cup 2-3 finishers Game On Dude and Twirling Candy both have their sights set on the G1 Pacific Classic on Aug 28. The latter worked a strong five furlongs in :59.60 at Del Mar on 7-31.

The local prep for the Pacific Classic, the G2 San Diego, was captured by veteran Tres Borrachos. The former frontrunner is now coming off the pace for his new conditioner Marty Jones and he smartly ran down vastly improved early runner Kevlar Kid at Del Mar on Saturday.

The Del Mar showcase might also include Blind Luck, Bourbon Bay, Caracortado, Make Music For Me, and Setsuko.

Three-Year-Olds

I have been covering the 3-year-old-crop of 2011 on Pick 6 Blog since last September and posted my latest Top 10 list on Aug 3.

My top ranked sophomore Coil proved he deserved top billing with a sharp late running victory over Shackleford in Sunday’s Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth Park. The Bob Baffert trainee has shipped to Saratoga with an eye on the Aug 27 Travers Stakes.

Shackleford is also expected to make his next start at the Spa, with the aforementioned Travers or the Sept 3 Woodward against older rivals as possible engagements.

Belmont Stakes hero Ruler On Ice is headed to the Travers following a solid show finish in the Haskell.

I have always been fond of Stay Thirsty and he had his coming out party at Saratoga on Saturday. The smashing Jim Dandy winner earned a 106 BSF and has finally put it all together. The Travers is next for the Todd Pletcher trainee.

Earlier in July, Dreamy Kid beat Coil in the Swaps at Hollywood Park, and he gets a chance to prove that was no fluke when he starts as the likely favorite in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby on Aug 6.

Belmont Stakes 2011 Recap: The Iceman Cometh

Ruler On Ice continued the three-year-old graded stakes upset trend with a surprising tally over Stay Thirsty and Brilliant Speed in the 2011 Belmont Stakes.

Ruler On Ice

Belmont Stakes hero Ruler On Ice - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The sloppy Belmont Park oval was favoring early-pressing speed throughout the day and the top two Belmont Stakes finishers made their presence felt throughout.

Ruler On Ice has returned to his Monmouth Park base with the Haskell a logical target. His stablemate Pants On Fire goes in Saturday’s Pegasus at the Jersey Shore and also has an eye on the Haskell.

Stay Thirsty and Brilliant Speed will likely spend the summer at Saratoga with the Jim Dandy and Travers on their radar screens.

Belmont Stakes 4th place finisher Nehro came out of the race with a small bone chip in his right front ankle and will have surgery on June 15.

Shackleford set the Belmont pace but came up empty late in a 5th place finish. He could not quite handle the marathon distance and should be much more effective in a race like the Haskell.

Animal Kingdom clipped heels and jockey John Velazquez lost his irons in a disastrous beginning. The Derby hero ended up a better than appears 6th and will target the big summer races (Haskell, Travers).

The rest were far back including the disappointing Master of Hounds, Mucho Macho Man, and Santiva. The latter reportedly did not handle the wet going.

This year’s Triple Crown series was a wild ride of upsets and the 3-year-old title is up for grabs. What surprises are in store for the second half of the year? I can’t wait to find out…stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

Belmont Stakes 2011 Profile: Shackleford

Preakness winner Shackleford could be worth trying to beat in Belmont Stakes 2011 based on a suspect marathon pedigree.

The Dale Romans charge did not seem to care for synthetic ground in his career debut but rebounded smartly to graduate in a conventional dirt extended sprint at Churchill Downs to end his juvenile campaign in November.

Shackleford

Shackleford gets a stamina test at Big Sandy - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Shackelford resurfaced at Gulfstream Park and promptly nabbed an entry level route to begin his three-year-old season. He flopped in the Fountain of Youth and in the Florida Derby he just failed to hold off Dialed In.

Foretry’s chestnut son was the picture of health leading up to the Kentucky Derby and he set a surprisingly slow pace before weakening in the late stages to finish a respectable 4th under the Twin Spires.

Shackleford was dismissed at almost 13-1 in the Preakness and he tracked sprinter Flashpoint through a solid half mile in :46 and change. The pace slowed down considerably from there and that was the key to success in Baltimore. With a strung out field and a controlled tempo for the second half on the race, Shackleford had enough left in the tank to hold off Kentucky Derby hero Animal Kingdom.

There is no denying that Shackleford is rapidly improving but his numbers have climbed in three straight and his chances of uncorking another big number at twelve furlongs appear unlikely.

Shackleford gets stamina from dam sire Unbridled but he appears most effective when able to set or press solid splits. If he goes slow early like he did in the Kentucky Derby then he will bring the field back to him while losing his best weapon (speed).

 

 

 

2011 Preakness Wrap + Early Belmont Stakes Preview

The Triple Crown trail upsets continued as the 2011 Preakness went to Kentucky Derby 4th place finisher Shackleford. You can read the entire story at Horse Racing Nation.

Shackleford

Will Shackleford run in the Belmont Stakes? - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Shackleford pressed solid fractions and was waiting for someone to go by but there were no takers so he happily took down top honors. Animal Kingdom rallied to land the place and Astrology finished a respectable 3rd. Dialed In clunked up for 4th and disappointing 6th place finisher Mucho Macho Man had early trouble, raced wide, and reportedly threw a shoe again.

As of now, it appears as though 14-horses are under consideration for the2011 Belmont Stakes. This evenly matched group of 3-year-olds take turns beating each other and we will probably see another upset in the Test of Champions.

Pedigree means everything in the Belmont Stakes and a horse like Shackleford could be in deep water because he does his best work on or near a fast pace and that strategy won’t work at twelve furlongs.

Likely Belmont starter Santiva has the right grinding style for Big Sandy and Stay Thirsty is bred to run all day.

Master of Hounds and Nehro are logical Belmont Stakes contenders. The former has the pedigree power but has been in Dubai, Ireland, the United States and back this year and could have serious jet lag if he returns to the US. The latter remains eligible for an entry level spot and has a case of seconditis.

Animal Kingdom will probably get the trip and has a strong kick when the pace is slow. How much energy does he have in reserve following back-to-back strong efforts in Kentucky and Maryland?

I will be posting profiles of all Belmont Stakes contenders in the coming weeks…stay tuned!

2011 Preakness Profile: Shackleford

Shackleford was the stretch target in the Kentucky Derby but he could not quite last the ten furlong trip and ended up a respectable 4th. His next start will come in the 2011 Preakness and he looms a pace factor at the very least.

The Dale Romans trainee did not seem to care for synthetic footing in his Keeneland debut last fall and rebounded in a big way to earn his diploma at Churchill Downs second time out.

2011 Preakness logo

He wintered in Florida during his 3-year-old season and captured an entry level route before flopping in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. He earned a trip to the Kentucky Derby after setting a fast pace and just missing to Dialed In in the Florida Derby.

Shackleford looked great in his Derby training activity but failed to hold on despite setting pedestrian fractions. The Preakness pace will be quicker and he will have to elevate his game if he expects to crack the top three in Baltimore.

Derby winner Animal Kingdom Preakness Bound

Animal Kingdom, the upset winner of the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby, came out of that race in good order and is on his way to Maryland to begin preparations for the 2011 Preakness Stakes.

Trainer Graham Motion will get Animal Kingdom ready for his next test at his Fair Hill Training Center base not far from Pimlico Race Course.

2011 Kentucky Derby show finisher Mucho Macho Man is expected to return in the Preakness, along with Shackleford, Santiva, and beaten Derby favorite Dialed In.

Speaking of Dialed In, the Nick Zito trainee is eligible for Frank Stronach’s $5.5 million bonus if he wins the second jewel of the Triple Crown. He qualified for the bonus by winning the Holy Bull Stakes and Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.

Numerous new shooters are expected in Baltimore, including Jerome runner-up Astrology, Arkansas Derby show finisher Dance City, and Sway Away. The latter was 21st on the Kentucky Derby graded earnings list and just missed qualifying for the big dance on the first Saturday in May.

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