10/29/2011 3:50PM

Breeders' Cup: Shackleford shows plenty of zip in tune-up for Dirt Mile

Reed Palmer Photography
Trainer Dale Romans said he was pleased with the snappy five-furlong drill in 58.15 seconds that Shackeford turned in Saturday morning at Churchill Downs.

Trainer Dale Romans isn’t buying the notion that a long, hard campaign has caught up to his Preakness winner Shackleford.

Romans was extremely happy with how Shackleford looked breezing a rapid five furlongs in 58.15 seconds Saturday morning over the main track at Churchill Downs in preparation for the $1 million Dirt Mile. Under exercise rider Tammy Fox, Shackleford, working outside the 4-year-old De Price, went in splits of 11.32 seconds, 22.46, 33.84, and got his final quarter in 24.31.

“I haven’t done a lot with him since the Indiana Derby. I wanted him to zip along today,’’ Romans said. “I didn’t think the company could keep up with him, I just wanted something to get him going and he broke off sharp and he kept going.’’

Shackleford, who has run nine times this year, is one of three horses to have competed in all three Triple Crown races this year. He is the only one of the three to have raced following the Triple Crown. Shackleford sandwiched seconds in the Haskell and Indiana Derby around an eighth-place finish in the Travers.

“I feel really good about the way he’s coming into the race,’’ Romans said. “I thought he looked super and Tammy said he felt super and was in hand even though they were going fast. It’s pretty exciting.’’

At Belmont, Trappe Shot worked an easy half-mile in 49.86 seconds over the training under exercise rider Renzo Morales. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin confirmed that Trappe Shot would run in the Dirt Mile, though he was pre-entered in the Sprint as well.

“We set our minds on it a while back, we’re not really wavering from that,’’ McLaughlin said. “We’re happy to go a mile and think he’ll love it.’’