Shackleford on Triple Crown trail after Florida Derby
Sunday, April 3, 2011
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Shackleford, a 3-year-old son of Forestry, put himself squarely on the Triple Crown trail with a very game second in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) April 3 at Gulfstream Park. Shackleford has already shown his affinity for Churchill Downs, breaking his maiden there in his second lifetime start last Nov. 27.

The Florida Derby was to be the toughest start to date for the chestnut colt. The field of eight included five graded stakes winners, but Shackleford was up to the formidable task. He went right to the front, carving out a half mile in a stout :46.35 and six furlongs in 1:10.63. He put away To Honor and Serve at the top of the stretch, only to be engaged by Dialed In nearing the sixteenth pole. Shackleford dug in stoutly to the wire to just miss by a head, finishing 6 3/4-lengths in front of the third-place finisher.

“That’s a real tough beat," trainer Dale Romans said of the runner-up. "He ran super. I’m very proud of him. If $200,000 (in graded earnings) is enough to get into the Derby, I think we’ll have to go. He’s a horse that keeps improving.”

Shackleford is owned by his breeders Mike Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge. His record is 2-1-0 in five starts, earning $271,666. The Kentucky-bred is out of the top-class mare Oatsee, the dam of multiple graded stakes winning fillies Lady Joanne and Baghdaria.
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