01/28/2012 1:34PM

Gulfstream Park: Shackleford works six furlongs for Donn

Barbara D. Livingston
Shackleford works six furlongs on Saturday. He will have one more work prior to the Feb. 11 Donn Handicap.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – While not as eye-catching as his in-company workout a week ago, Preakness winner Shackleford continued preparations for his 4-year-old debut on Saturday by working six furlongs in 1:12.21 over Gulfstream Park’s main track.

It was Shackleford’s fourth work at Gulfstream since his arrival last month and he’ll have one more move next weekend in advance of his start in the Grade 1, $500,000 Donn Handicap here on Feb. 11.

Last week, Shackleford went five furlongs in 58.63 seconds, working behind two stablemates and splitting the pair at the wire.

Saturday, shortly after 9 a.m., Shackleford worked by himself under regular rider Jesus Castanon. Breaking off at the six-furlong pole, Shackleford went in fractions of 12.18 seconds, 24.09, 36.42, and 48.40. He did switch back to his left lead nearing the wire but quickly switched back and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25.76.

 “That’s good for him by himself,” trainer Dale Romans, who noted that Shackleford often switches leads when he works without company. “He’s usually pretty relaxed when he’s by himself. That’s why we took him out at 9; we didn’t want him to go any faster.

“His fast work was last week, today was to go a little further and not go as fast, keep him a little more relaxed,” Romans added. “I thought he looked really good doing it, I think he really likes this racetrack.”

Last year, Shackleford ran three times at Gulfstream, winning a first-level allowance race before finishing fifth in the Fountain of Youth and second, beaten a head by Dialed In, in the Florida Derby.

After winning the Preakness, Shackleford went winless in his last five starts though he finished second in the Haskell Invitational, the Indiana Derby and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

A field of 10 is possible up for the Donn, including Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice, Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Flat Out, Redeemed, Trickmeister, Where’s Sterling, Soaring Empire, Hymn Book, Mission Impazible, and Sangaree.