05/30/2012 2:39AM

Shack Attack! - and more from Met Mile day


Met Mile day at Belmont Park was hot and humid - featuring great racing, and tough competitors, all day long.  A heartfelt congratulations to the amazing Shackleford and his connections who, with the help of Caleb's Posse, sure put on a memorable show in the day's main event.

Here are a few photos from the afternoon.

Above:  It's Tricky, the delightfully quirky daughter of Mineshaft, in the paddock before the Ogden Phipps.  Eddie Castro is aboard the filly, who is owned by Godolphin Racing and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin.

At the head of the stretch, It's Tricky overtook the front-running (and very competitive!) Cash for Clunkers.  Cash for Clunkers made quite a race of it.

Above/below:  It's Tricky secures her third Grade I win.  Cash for Clunkers was second and Awesome Maria, at left, below, was third.

Above:  It's Tricky and Awesome Maria head back after the race.

Above:  An appreciative pat for the winner.  It's Tricky heads to the test barn.

Above/below:  Awesome Maria, running for E. Paul Robsham Stables, didn't quite have it this day - but she's still pretty as a picture.

Above:  Cash for Clunkers and Alan Garcia, after their game second in the Ogden Phipps.

Above and below:  Buffum, a 4-year-old Bernardini - Storm Beauty colt, running for Godolphin Racing, was an impressive winner of the  sixth race.  Javier Castellano was aboard.  

Above:  Tom Albertrani had two winners on the day - Buffum, and Better Lucky (below), who won the Sands Point.

Above/below:  Better Lucky, a daughter of Ghostzapper, for Darley Stable, won her third race in five starts in the Sands Point.  In a very tight finish, Regalo Mio and Zultanite were second and third.

Above:  Winner! Eddie Castro won the Sands Point on Better Lucky and the Ogden Phipps on It's Tricky.

Above:  The beautiful Contested, by Ghostzapper and out of an Arch mare, before her win in the G1 Acorn.  Contested races for owner Jill Baffert and is trained by Jill's husband Bob.  Congratulations to them both!

Above/below:  Contested won the Acorn by a widening 5 lengths for Javier Castellano - his second winner of the afternoon.  It was Contested's fourth win in her five starts.  

Above/below:  Zo Impressive ran a solid second in the Acorn while Aubby K, below, was third.

Above/below:  Gary Hartlage saddled his fan favorite On Fire Baby (below), who ran fourth. 

Above/below:  In the paddock before the Metropolitan Handicap, Donnie Von Hemel was all business while preparing Caleb's Posse....who had been checked out by Dale Romans, trainer of Shackleford (below).

Above:  Caleb's Posse before the race.

Above:  To Honor and Serve, here with Bill Mott, went off as the 1.65-1 favorite.  

Above:  The tough Grade I winner Jackson Bend, here with groom Gus Sanchez, ran fifth.

Above/below:  Shackleford, always a handful, looked fantastic before the race.  John Velazquez was aboard, regular pilot Jesus Castanon being sidelined by injury.

Above:  Shackleford, at full speed while aiming for home, was a picture of power.

Above/below:  In a fantastically dramatic finish, Shackleford absolutely refused to let Caleb's Posse pass him by.

Above:  Two horses look like one - Shackleford and Caleb's Posse.

Above:  Dale Romans greets his classic-winning, Met Mile winning colt.  

Above:  Mike and Kim Lauffer lead their beautiful colt down Belmont's Grade I victory lane.

Above:  Hats off to the remarkable Caleb's Posse, who ran another fantastic race....

...and congratulations to the connections of Shackleford, the son of Forestry - Oatsee, who has now won two of racing's most important events - the Preakness and the Met - and earned $2,741,381.

Above:  Portrait of a winner.