07/01/2011 4:26PM

Churchill Downs: Romans thinking championship for Shackleford

Barbara D. Livingston
Shackleford got a two-week breather at WinStar Farm in Kentucky.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Like pretty much everyone else, Dale Romans took notice this week of the Team Valor International announcement regarding Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom having to be sidelined for the rest of the year because of a hock injury. Romans trains Shackleford, the Preakness winner who recently returned to his Churchill barn following a two-week break at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky.

“It’s unfortunate that Animal Kingdom is out, but now that pretty much leaves us with our own ticket to write,” said Romans. “If we can win the Haskell or the Travers, you’d have to think that’d put us in the driver’s seat for the 3-year-old title.”

Meanwhile, Romans said Sassy Image, the multiple graded-winning filly he trains for his brother Jerry, will run next in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney on the July 9 Summit of Speed program at Calder.

Like a number of top Churchill trainers, Romans will soon be heading to Saratoga for the 40-day meet that begins July 22.