Shackleford , last year’s Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner, is expected to be among the cast of runners lining up for the $400,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) on Wood Memorial Day at Aqueduct April 7. The colt also might run in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) May 28 at Belmont Park.
Trainer Dale Romans identified two main factors that went into the decision to run the 4-year-old son of Forestry out of the Unbridled mare Oatsee in the seven-furlong race.
“He has already proven that he can run well going one turn,” said Romans. “This is also a great spot to prep for the Met Mile.”
The Carter will be Shackleford’s second start of the year, following a seventh-place finish in the Donn Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 11 at Gulfstream Park.
“He has run subpar before and has always come back to redeem himself,” Romans said of the Michael Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge-owned speedster. “We’re looking for a big effort.”
Shackleford closed out his 2011 campaign with a second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. He hasn’t run in a seven-furlong race since breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs at 2.
The Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner, Caleb's Posse , also is expected among the entrants in the Carter. He suffered a neck defeat in his 2012 debut, the Tom Fool Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct March 3.
Multiple graded stakes winner Calibrachoa, who won the Tom Fool with racing’s top Beyer speed figure this year, a 111, also is likely for the Carter, along with Emcee and Capt. Candyman Can, the Tom Fool’s third- and fourth-place finishers, respectively.
In addition to the Carter, the April 7 card features the $1 million Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I), highlighted by the scheduled appearance of 2011 Eclipse Award winner and recent Gotham Stakes (gr. II) winner Hansen ; plus the $250,000 Comely Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies and the $250,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. II), for 3-year-old sprinters.