05/29/2012 3:55PM

Belmont Park: Two turns possible for Shackleford after Met Mile win

Michael Amoruso
Shackleford holds off Caleb's Posse to win the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Though Shackleford appears to have found his niche in races run around one turn, trainer Dale Romans said Tuesday that he would not be opposed to running his Metropolitan Handicap winner two turns again in the future.

While Romans sent Shackleford to WinStar Farm on Tuesday morning for at least a week’s worth of rest and relaxation, he said races such as the Whitney and Woodward, both run at 1 1/8 miles worth $750,000 at Saratoga on Aug. 4 and Sept. 1, respectively, would be under consideration.

When reminded that the Suburban is a one-turn, 1 1/8-mile race run here July 7, Romans said that race could be under consideration as well.

“I was thinking more Saratoga, but maybe I need to start thinking about that,” Romans said Tuesday morning.

Romans remained at Belmont Park on Tuesday as he prepares Blue Grass winner Dullahan for the June 9 Belmont Stakes. However, Shackleford was flown to Kentucky and by 10:30 a.m. he was on the grounds at WinStar Farm in Lexington, where he has spent some time in the past.

“He’s not turned out or anything,” Romans said. “They have a training track, nice facility for him, change of scenery; he likes it over there.”

Shackleford won the Met Mile by a nose over the late-running Caleb’s Posse. He ran a mile in 1:33.30 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 115. He became the first horse to win the Preakness at 3 and the Met Mile at 4 since Carry Back (1961-62).

Romans said races like the Suburban, Whitney, and Woodward interest him because “now we have start thinking about Eclipse Awards.”

As far as whether to target the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or the Breeders’ Cup Classic in the fall, Romans said “we’ll worry about that when the time comes.”

Last year, Shackleford finished second to Caleb’s Posse in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

By virtue of his victory in the Met Mile, Shackleford earned an automatic berth in this November’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, meaning his entry fees will paid plus his connections receive a $10,000 travel stipend.

Meanwhile, Caleb’s Posse left New York on a van bound for Chicago at approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday. He came up on the wrong end of a photo for the third straight time. He lost the Tom Fool by a neck and the Carter by a nose before Monday’s Met Mile.

“You can’t be disappointed in a horse race like that,” trainer Donnie Von Hemel said before catching his own plane home. “You’ll be hard-pressed to find a horse that’s run three better races in a row this year. I wouldn’t put any blame on anybody, it’s just the way things have happened.”

Von Hemel thought Caleb’s Posse may have been compromised by the speed-favoring nature of Belmont’s surface Monday.

“It was such an effort to overcome what I thought was a speed favoring track,” Von Hemel said. “To get to Shackleford was just an effort. Shackleford ran a great race, our horse ran a great race.”

Von Hemel said he did not have any immediate plans for Caleb’s Posse, though he did mention the Grade 1 Forego, a seven-furlong race at Saratoga on Sept. 1, would likely be on his calendar.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If it was up to me Shackleford's last 4 lifetime starts would be in the Smile, Forego, Vosburgh, and BC Sprint.
Dwayne Watts More than 1 year ago
Stick w/1-turn for the sake of the Eclipse. He deserves it.
Jack More than 1 year ago
If they target the Saratoga races he will probably have his hands full with Wise Dan or Successful Dan and maybe IHA or Bode.Will be interesting.
Jack More than 1 year ago
I initially thought this was not the best plan for this horse,but if HOY is their main objective it makes sense they have to go longer.
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
OFF TOPIC: To supplement a slow news day, here is the news from Australia: Helmet The Latest Addition to a Frankel Clash Australian multiple Group I winner Helmet remains in contention for next month's Group I Queen Anne Stakes (1600m) at Royal Ascot setting up a possible clash with unbeaten superstar Frankel and Australian dual Cox Plate winner So You Think. Helmet is one of three Godolphin gallopers entered for the mile feature on June 19. Frankel's trainer Sir Henry Cecil said "all being well his next start will be at Ascot in either the Queen Anne or the Prince of Wales, the former being my first preference at the moment, but we will see' following the son of Galileo's devastating win in the Group I Lockinge Stakes. After So You Think's six-length romp in last Sunday's Group I Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh, trainer Aidan O'Brien hinted the son of High Chaparral could drop back to the mile at Ascot. A victory for Helmet in the Queen Anne Stakes would give Godolphin their eighth win in the race. Should he or So You Think prevail over Frankel it would make them the second former Aussie's to salute in the event in recent times. In 2008, Doncaster Mile winner Haradasun left Australian shores to join the O'Brien camp. After a disappointing sixth on debut in the Lockinge Stakes, Haradasun captured the Queen Anne with Johnny Murtagh in the saddle. Helmet, together with his stablemate Soul, are still amongst the entries for the Group I Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot on June 23. Champion mare Black Caviar has a stranglehold on the Diamond Jubilee at odds of $1.35 in early bettings.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
YA BUT two turns could change his success and his new style this year... plus if you look at the gallop-outs of last two it looks like he's winging his right front leg... not a good sign for two turns...
Larry More than 1 year ago
have everyone forgot that the preakness is 1 3/16 he is well within his-self to go 1 1/8....as weak as the older horse div. is this year....the question is why not run in the suburban-whitney-woodward-maybe run in the mile at the end of the year....he can easy be h.o.y with an agressive campain
Gee More than 1 year ago
One turn one gear horse needs the momentum to keep going. Pop the latch and come catch me.
Gee More than 1 year ago
Leave well enough alone Mr Romans.
nancyb More than 1 year ago
Totally agree. Why not hone and develop what is already there rather than work against the horse's best assets? So many nice horses don't reach their potential because of the egos and greed of their connections.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Shack is a chip right off the ol block. His daddy Forestry was a hit rid and do was he. Both are 7-8f types.