Shackleford clocks half in :47 2/5; Clark or Cigar Mile decision still pending

Classic victor Shackleford breezed a half-mile over the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Saturday in :47 2/5 in his first workout since finishing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

A multiple Grade 1 winner of more than $2.8 million, Shackleford is under consideration for Friday's Grade 1, $400,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs and the Grade 1, $350,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on November 24.

"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 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. (EST), Shackleford recorded opening fractions of :11 3/5 and :23 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 under Tammy Fox. His four-furlong time of :47 2/5 was the co-second fastest of 57 at the distance.

"He worked really well like he always does and then cooled out fine," Romans noted.

Co-owners Mike Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge were on hand with their families to see the Forestry four-year-old's workout

"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) and always runs well here, but he likes it at Aqueduct, too."

Entries for the Clark will be taken Tuesday and entries for the Cigar Mile will be taken Wednesday.

Also working toward the Clark on Saturday were Bourbon Courage and Cease.

Bourbon Courage, winner of the Grade 2 Super Derby, 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."

Bourbon Courage ran second in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby prior to his five-length triumph in the Super Derby. The sophomore son of Lion Heart will enter the Clark off a runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby on October 6.

Maxxam Gold Cup scorer Cease breezed a half-mile in :50 after going the opening-quarter in :25 for trainer Al Stall Jr. The War Chant five-year-old finished third in the Grade 1 Woodward on September 1 and just missed by a half-length in second behind fellow Clark contender Pool Play in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup most recently.

In other Clark news, Take Charge Indy is scheduled to breeze Sunday at Churchill Downs following the renovation break at approximately 8:30 a.m. in preparation for the 1 1/8-mile contest. The A.P. Indy dark bay captured the Grade 1 Florida Derby over the spring but wasn't seen for nearly six months after exiting his 19th-place run in the Kentucky Derby with an ankle injury that required minor surgery. He returned on October 27 to be third in the Grade 2 Fayette on Keeneland's synthetic Polytrack.

Also working toward the Clark on Sunday will be Neck 'n Neck, who is scheduled to breeze prior to the renovation break. The Flower Alley sophomore brings last-out wins in the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap and Indiana Derby into the Clark.

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