will be competing under the Twin Spires for the first time
since taking the Churchill Downs Stakes
(NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)
A decision on whether classic hero Shackleford would run in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile
on Saturday at Aqueduct or
one day earlier in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs was to be made
Monday, but trainer Dale Romans told the Courier-Journal on Sunday that
the chestnut would stay home in Kentucky for the latter contest.
"Basically it came down to just staying at home," Romans told the
Courier-Journal's Jennie Rees after conferring with co-owner Mike Lauffer.
"He likes it here and we think he'll handle the mile and an eighth."
On Saturday, Shackleford went a half-mile in :47 2/5 on the fast main track
at Churchill Downs with exercise rider Tammy Fox aboard. The breeze -- his first
since a seventh-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile on November 3 -- was
the second-fastest of 57 at the distance.
"He worked really well and seemed to come out of it fine this morning,"
Shackleford has won more than $2.8 million with a record of 5-5-1 from 19
career starts. The chestnut son of Forestry captured the Preakness Stakes last
year en route to a runner-up effort in the 2011 Dirt Mile. Thus far this year
the four-year-old has captured the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap and Grade 2