Mike Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge’s Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Shackleford is expected to ship to New York in the next couple of days and will have a workout over the Belmont track before a final decision is made about running in the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), according to the Churchill Downs communications department. The 3-year-old son of Forestry returned to the Churchill Downs backstretch the morning of May 22, one day after his triumph in the May 21 Preakness.
Trainer Dale Romans said he will train Shackleford as if he is going to start in the Belmont. Meanwhile, Churchill reported that retired jockey Mark Guidry has made a return to the Churchill Downs backstretch to exercise horses for Romans. Guidry, who retired from riding at the conclusion of the 2007 Churchill Downs fall meet, is 19th all-time in career Churchill Downs victories. Guidry’s biggest win under the Twin Spires came when he rode Lemons Forever to win the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) in 2006.
Donald Adam’s Prime Cut, listed by trainer Neil Howard as “possible” for the Belmont, worked four furlongs in :50 1/5 over a fast Churchill Downs main track the morning of May 26 “We may run, but I want to see who else is going to be in there before I make a decision,” Howard said.
A 3-year-old son of Bernstein, Prime Cut has a 2-2-2 record in seven starts, with a second in the Lexington Stakes (gr. III) and a third in the Peter Pan (gr. II).
Tom Walters’ Santiva , who is probable to start in the final jewel of the Triple Crown, is scheduled to work over Churchill’s main track Friday morning, May 27. Inclement weather could delay the work until Saturday. Trained by Eddie Kenneally, Santiva finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Another Churchill-based horse under consideration for the Belmont is the Steve Asmussen-trained Nehro, runner-up to Animal Kingdom in the Derby.