09/26/2011 12:29PM

Hoosier Park: Shackleford, Caleb's Posse all set for Indiana Derby

Tom Keyser
Shackleford has been confirmed for Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park.

Shackleford and Caleb’s Posse are among the 3-year-olds confirmed to race Saturday in the Indiana Derby, while trainer Bob Baffert said Monday he was still trying to decide whether to send Coil cross-country from California for the Grade 2, $500,000 race at Hoosier Park in suburban Indianapolis.

Trainer Dale Romans said he was happy with the way Shackleford, winner of the 2011 Preakness, breezed five furlongs in 59.80 seconds over a sloppy track at his Churchill Downs base Saturday morning.

“That’s what told me we need to go up there,” Romans said.

Romans said he had contemplated just training Shackleford into either the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or BC Classic before determining the 1 1/16-mile Indiana Derby could be a revealing prep. Shackleford was a disappointing eighth in the Aug. 27 Travers in his last start.

Meanwhile, Coil, who won the July 31 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park by a neck over Shackleford before finishing 10th and last in the Travers, was scheduled to work Monday at Santa Anita. Baffert said he would discuss whether to go to Indiana after watching the drill and discussing his options with the colt’s trio of owners, Mike Pegram, Paul Weitman, and Karl Watson. The same owner-trainer team won the Indiana Derby last year with Lookin At Lucky, the eventual division champion.

Baffert has said he also is considering keeping Coil at home Saturday for the Grade 2, $250,000 Goodwood Stakes, a race in which he would face older horses in what has become a depleted division in Southern California.

Entries for all Saturday races at Hoosier will be drawn Wednesday.

Caleb’s Posse, based at Arlington Park with trainer Donnie Von Hemel, will be stretching back out around two turns after winning the Amsterdam and Grade 1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga. The latter victory came over Uncle Mo.

At least four other 3-year-olds are considered likely for the 17th Indiana Derby: Decisive Moment, Populist Politics, Wilburn, and Windswept.

Decisive Moment, based in south Florida with Juan Arias and 14th in the Kentucky Derby, arrived Monday at Hoosier after having his final pre-race breeze Friday at Calder. Wilburn, trained by Steve Asmussen, breezed Monday at Belmont Park when going a half-mile in 50.60 seconds.

Saturday is by far the biggest day of the year at Hoosier. Also on tap are the Grade 2, $200,000 Indiana Oaks, the $100,000 Schaefer Mile, the $100,000 Mary Hulman George, and six other stakes worth $84,000 each.