Shackleford , last year's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner, will stand at stud at John Phillips’ Darby Dan Farm near Lexington following the 2012 racing season. The 4-year-old son of Forestry is being pointed to the Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct April 7, with the Breeders’ Cup as a year-end goal before retiring to Darby Dan.
“Shackleford possesses all of the qualities needed to be a top stallion, and we’re delighted that he will start his much-anticipated stallion career at Darby Dan next season,” said Darby Dan general manager Robert Hammond. “He’s an impressive physical specimen from a great female family, and if you look at recent winners of the Preakness, no other American classic has produced more champions and successful stallions in the modern era than the Preakness.”
Trained by Dale Romans, Shackleford was the leading 3-year-old money earner and an Eclipse Award finalist in 2011. He finished second in last’s year’s Florida Derby (gr. I), the Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I), the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I), and the Indiana Derby (gr. II). In the Preakness, he defeated Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Animal Kingdom .
“Shackleford is a special horse,” said Romans. “It's rare to find a horse with true sprinter speed that has the ability to carry that speed a classic distance and have the success he's had. My favorite thing about him is that he’s tough as nails and a true pro. He was durable and genuine enough to dance all of the big dances last year and earn more money than any other 3-year-old.”
Shackleford sports a record of 3-4-0 from 13 starts and earnings of $1,985,803 for owners/breeders Mike Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge.
“We couldn't be more excited about Shackleford's future at stud after racing, and we feel like Darby Dan is a perfect fit,” said Lauffer. “Darby Dan is a farm that is on the move, and John Phillips and his experienced team are doing a terrific job at building on the farm's great tradition of standing stallions. We look forward to supporting Shackleford with our own mares and at the sales throughout his stud career.”
Out of the stakes-placed Unbridled mare Oatsee, Shackleford is a half brother to grade I winner Lady Joanne, graded stakes winner Baghdaria, and two stakes-placed runners.
Darby Dan will be a minority owner in Shackleford for the remainder of the colt’s racing career. A stud fee will be announced upon retirement at the end of the season.