Preakness (gr. I) winner Shackleford arrived at Belmont Park just before 10 a.m. May 30 in advance of a possible start in the 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in less than two weeks.
“He looks good,” said Scotty Everett, assistant trainer for Dale Romans. “We are excited to have him here at Belmont.”
Shackleford, a 3-year-old son of Forestry out of the Unbridled mare Oatsee, is expected to walk the shedrow at Romans’ barn March 31 before going to the track June 1. A final decision on his status for the June 11 Belmont is expected later this week.
If the colt is given the green light for the race, it will set up a rubber match between him and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Animal Kingdom. A rematch would represent just the 20th time in the history of the Triple Crown that the Derby and Preakness winners have squared off in the Belmont.
Shackleford, whose half-sister Lady Joanne won the 1 ¼-mile Alabama (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course in 2007, will seek to become the 19th horse to complete the Preakness-Belmont double. The feat was last accomplished by Afleet Alex , the 2005 3-year-old male champion.
Point Given (2001), Tabasco Cat (1994), Hansel (1991), Risen Star (1988), Little Current (1974), Damascus (1967), Nashua (1955), Native Dancer (1953), Capot (1949), Bimelech (1940), Pillory (1922), Man o’ War (1920), Belmar (1895), Saunterer (1881), Grenada (1880), Duke of Magenta (1878), and Cloverbrook (1877) were the only others to win the second and last races in the Triple Crown series without winning the Derby.
Shackleford, a game half-length winner over Animal Kingdom in the Preakness at odds of 12-1, has a lifetime record of 3-1-0 from seven starts with career earnings of $1,471,666 for owners Michael Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge. The chestnut ran fourth in the Derby after setting the pace, finishing 3 3/4 lengths behind Animal Kingdom.
A field of about 12 is expected for this year's Belmont Stakes.