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Churchill Downs: Groupie Doll, Shackleford work for holiday week stakes
By Marty McGee
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Groupie Doll and Shackleford were both out for serious work Saturday morning at Churchill Downs when prepping for likely starts this coming weekend.
Both 4-year-olds went a half-mile over a fast and tight main track, with Groupie Doll going in 48.20 seconds just a few minutes before Shackleford went in 47.40. Their respective trainers said both are very likely to make their first starts since the Breeders’ Cup this weekend.
Buff Bradley said he is “almost sure” he will send Groupie Doll to Aqueduct for the Grade 1, $350,000 Cigar Mile on Saturday, pending release of the weight assignments. Bradley said he was optimistic those weights would not overly penalize Groupie Doll as a filly taking on male rivals. “I’m sure they’ll be fair and we’ll head on up there,” he said.
Dale Romans was more equivocal when saying Shackleford will run in either the Cigar Mile or the Grade 1, $400,000 Clark Handicap, the Churchill fall showcase set for its 138th running Friday. He said a final decision may not be made until entries are taken this week.
Groupie Doll and Shackleford are coming off disparate BC results at Santa Anita. Groupie Doll stormed to her fifth straight victory when taking the Filly and Mare Sprint in sensational fashion, while Shackleford, a multiple Grade 1-winning earner of more than $2.8 million, stumbled from the gate before finishing seventh in the Dirt Mile.
Whatever happens this weekend, Groupie Doll will get a rest afterward, either back home in Kentucky or in south Florida before racing again at 5, while Shackleford will be making his final start before heading off to stud duty at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington.
Meanwhile, weights for the 1 1/8-mile Clark were released Friday, with Game On Dude being assigned 125 pounds by racing secretary Ben Huffman. Game On Dude, however, will not come from California to run, and that means Shackleford, with 120, would start as the highweight if Romans opts to stay home.
Other Clark probables, with weights, are Neck ‘n Neck, 119; Pool Play, 118; Bourbon Courage, 117; Cease, 117; Take Charge Indy, 117; Lunar Victory, 116; Eye of the Leopard, 115; Mission Impazible, 115; and Fast Falcon, 113. Several more from a nominations list of 30 are regarded as possible, including Infrattini, Middie, and Stealcase. Entries will be drawn Tuesday.
I am posting this about 20 before Post Time for the Clark Handicap. The only horse in this race having a race over this track is the Mark Casse trained STEALCASE 15/1 ML is now 48/1. He is 4 for 4 in the money at Churchill with his best beyer# of 100...Those odds are crazy good to play.. Definatly playable at those overlay odds, Load up on Stealcase people or maybe not....
After shackelford won the Cigar Mile last year he was done as a race horse, he should havd been retired. Besides I don't see what all thd fuss is about Shackelford has run 3 or 4 good races and that was it since then all he has done is run up the track and has burned alot of peoples money betting on a horse that should have been retired a long time ago. Overrated horse IMO and I for one will be glad to see him retire before he gets hurt.
Neck n Neck should crush this field if he is not exhausted from a long campaign.
THAT IS A WEAK 400K RACE.
The owners of Dullahan have made Roman's look stupid when it is fact the owner. Synthetic MONSTER you Morons!!!!!
CD is Shack's best track. We should also not forget that he led the first 9.5 furlongs in last year's Kentucky Derby. Would love to see him in the winner's circle one last time.
Shackleford is way past his best especially in good company. His best distrance should be 6-7f. The connections have overraced him this year. My word to them, "race him one more time this year going 7f and retire him." I hope he runs a good race in his next start.
Shacleford was my favorite three year old last year and has been an amazing horse to watch and wager on. I remember watching him in the Post Parade for the BC Dirt Mile and something really had him in a tizzy. He settled down once Dominguez got on him but never have I seen him so troubled. I was sure they were going to scratch him. I hope he races in the Clark on a good dirt track. I will surely miss that great champion of a horse that Shacleford is. A devote fan!
Shackleford is a really nice horse. It would have been nice to see him win a few more races in his Past Races. Personally, I think Mr Romans was a little confused where to spot him. And not to mention how he drilled Shackleford. Does not matter where Shackleford races next, he is a tired horse period. I wish him well after his next and final race as a Race Horse. Shackleford will be missed by his followers....
Really forward to see Take Charge Indy come back, I think he wil be one of the ones next year.
- 1.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
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