“He looks good,” said Scotty Everett, assistant trainer to Dale Romans. “We are excited to have him here at Belmont.”
If the colt is given the green light for the race, it will set up a rubber match between him and Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. The rematch would represent just the 20th time in the history of the Triple Crown that the Derby and Preakness winners have squared off in the Belmont.
Shackleford, whose half-sister Lady Joanne won the Grade 1, 1 ¼-mile Alabama at Saratoga Race Course in 2007, will seek to become the 19th horse to complete the Preakness-Belmont double, a feat last accomplished by 2005’s 3-Year-Old Male Champion, Afleet Alex.
Point Given (2001), Tabasco Cat (1994), Hansel (1991), Risen Star (1988), Little Current (1974), Damascus (1967), Nashua (1955), Native Dancer (1953), Capot (1949), Bimelech (1940), Pillory (1922), Man o’ War (1920), Belmar (1895), Saunterer (1881), Grenada (1880), Duke of Magenta (1878), and Cloverbrook (1877) were the only others to win the second and last races in the Triple Crown without having won the Derby.
Shackleford, who was a game half-length winner over Animal Kingdom in the Preakness, has a lifetime record of 3-1-0 from seven starts with career earnings of $1,471,666 for owners Michael Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge.
Among the others under consideration for the 1 ½-mile Belmont, which has a maximum field of 16, are Brilliant Speed, seventh in the Kentucky Derby; Harlan’s Hello, winner of an optional claimer at Belmont; Isn’t He Perfect, ninth in the Preakness; Master of Hounds, fifth in the Derby; Monzon, sixth in the Peter Pan; Mucho Macho Man, sixth in the Preakness; Derby runner-up Nehro; Prime Cut, third in the Peter Pan; Ruler On Ice, second in the Frederico Tesio at Pimlico; Santiva, sixth in the Derby, and Stay Thirsty, 12th in the Derby.