Watch 2011 Preakness Stakes here
Forestry's Shackleford reigned supreme in the $1.5 million Preakness (G1) to claim a half-length victory over Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Animal
Kingdom in the 136th running of the second leg of the Triple Crown on May 21 at Pimlico Racecourse.
The sterling victory made Forestry the first son of Storm Cat to sire an American Classic winner.
A flashy coppery chestnut with a striking white blaze, Shackleford also ran fourth in the Derby after holding the lead until mid-stretch.
The Preakness would set up much like the Derby. Shackleford was right up front from the outset, dueling with Flashpoint through a very quick half-mile in :46.87. The pair were still together on the turn, with Shackleford to the outside. Flashpoint began to weaken outside the quarter pole, but a fresh challenge came from Astrology moving up the rail.
Jesus Castanon asked Shackleford for more, and he pulled clear to lead by a length just a sixteenth from the wire. Meanwhile, Animal Kingdom was rolling from far back, coming strongly late, but once again, Shackleford was up to the task and held safely to win in 1:56.47 for the 1 3/16 miles over a fast, but dull surface.
“I’ve won some big races, but none as exciting as that one,” said Dale Romans, the trainer of Shackleford, who scored his first win in a Triple Crown race, as did winning rider Castanon.
“It feels amazing,” Castanon said. “I couldn’t ask for a better run. He was a little warm in the post parade, but he was able to calm down.”
“He’s a good horse and able to handle it. I was confident all the way around,” Castanon added.
Shackleford, a son of Forestry out of the Unbridled mare Oatsee, was bred in Kentucky and is owned by Mike Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge. He has now won three times in seven starts. His lifetime earnings now total $1,471,666.
The $1.1 million payday was bolstered by a $500,000 purse bonus for participating in the Fountain of Youth, in which Shackleford finished fifth, and the Florida Derby, in which he was second. The bonus was put up by MI Developments, owner of both Gulfstream and Pimlico.
Shackleford is the 15th graded stakes winner, and 40th stakes winner, in Forestry's career. Shackleford's big payday rocketed Forestry to third place on the 2011 General Sire List.