Shackleford Works, Still Clark or Cigar Mile
Potential Clark Handicap (gr. I) contender Shackleford breezed a half-mile in :47 2/5 on a fast main track at Churchill Downs Nov. 17, his first workout since finishing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Nov. 3.
The multiple grade I winner of more than $2.8 million for Mike Lauffer, Bill Cubbedge and Phillips Racing Partnership is under consideration for the Nov. 23 $400,000-added Clark Presented by Norton Healthcare as well as the Nov. 24 $350,000 Cigar Mile (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
"We haven't decided yet," trainer Dale Romans said. "There are a lot of factors to consider. We'll make a decision by Monday morning (Nov. 19) because there's a plane to New York on Tuesday."
Working on his own shortly after the track reopened following the renovation break at 8:30 a.m. (all times Eastern), Shackleford recorded opening fractions of :11 3/5 and :23 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 under Tammy Fox. His four-furlong time of :47 2/5 was the second-fastest of 57 at the distance on the day.
"He worked really well like he always does and then cooled out fine," Romans said.
Co-owners Lauffer and Cubbedge were on hand with their families to see the workout by their 4-year-old son of Forestry, who won the Preakness (gr. I) in 2011.
"We'll see how he comes out of the work and we also want to look at the weather," Lauffer said. "We want to run on a nice, fast racetrack. He loves it here (at Churchill Downs) and always runs well here, but he likes it at Aqueduct, too."
Entries for the Clark will be taken Nov. 20 and entries for the Cigar Mile will be taken Nov. 21. Shackleford was assigned 120 pounds for the Clark; Game On Dude was made the 125-pound highweight but is not expected to enter.
Also working toward the Clark Nov. 17 were Bourbon Lane Stable and Wayne Lynn's Bourbon Courage and Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's Cease.
Bourbon Courage, a 3-year-old son of Lion Heart who won the Super Derby (gr. II) this year, breezed four furlongs in :48 and galloped out five-eighths in 1:01 3/5.
"I told (jockey) Leandro (Goncalves) to go between :48 and :48.40," trainer Kellyn Gorder said. "It was a really nice breeze. (The Clark) has been our big target. It's kind of like our Breeders' Cup."
Cease, runner-up to Pool Play in the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) last out, breezed a half-mile in :50 after going the opening-quarter in :25 for trainer Al Stall Jr.
Take Charge Indy is scheduled to breeze Nov. 18 at Churchill following the renovation break at approximately 8:30 a.m. in preparation for the Clark, said trainer Pat Byrne. Also working toward the Clark that morning will be Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) winner Neck 'n Neck, who is scheduled to breeze prior to the renovation break for conditioner Ian Wilkes.
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