Both horses worked five furlongs in company under Tammy Fox on the fast dirt track at Churchill Downs. Shackleford was timed in :58 1/5, while Dullahan was clocked in 1:00 4/5.
“They both worked super,” Romans said after watching the works. “It looks like we’re ready.”
Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Shackleford, owned by Mike Lauffer and Mike Cubbedge, worked in company with De Price and jockey Mark Guidry. Shackleford and his workmate were together around the far turn, with Shackleford to the outside.
Donegal Racing’s Dullahan, a 2-year-old colt by Even the Score , worked outside his workmate, Cars and Trucks, who also was ridden by Guidry. The work was similar to that of Shackleford, with Dullahan pulling away at the top of the stretch to get clear by about five lengths at the finish.
Jerry Crawford of Donegal Racing was on hand for the workout, which will determine whether Dullahan races in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) or the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT). Romans said he and Crawford would discuss it and make a decision Oct. 30, but Crawford seemed more committed to the Juvenile.
“I’ll talk to Dale but I think he has earned the right to compete for the Eclipse Award as 2-year-old (male) of the year,” Crawford said. “That’s probably what we’re doing.”
Dullahan in his last start won the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) on Polytrack at Keeneland for his first victory in five starts. He showed good form, however, on the grass in two starts at Saratoga, and raced evenly in his first two maiden races—sprints on the dirt at Churchill.
“He has never been a spectacular work horse but he’s just dead game on the racetrack,” Crawford said. “With these 2-year-olds you don’t know what you have until they do it.”
Homebred Shackleford, who has spent all of this year battling the top 3-year-olds in the country, finished second in the Indiana Derby (gr. II) behind Wilburn in his last start Oct. 1. He will race around one turn in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) for the first time since his seven-furlong maiden victory last November at Churchill.
Shackleford, who will face older horses for the first time, has been under the radar screen since his eighth-place finish in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. “We like it that way,” Lauffer said.
Ian Tapp contributed to this story