04/23/2011 10:12AM

Kentucky Derby work in slop for Florida Derby runner-up Shackleford

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Churchill/Reed Palmer Photography
Shackleford works five furlongs in the slop at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Florida Derby runner-up Shackleford led a small cast of prominent Kentucky Derby and Oaks hopefuls breezing at Churchill Downs Saturday, working five furlongs in 1:00.20 over a sloppy racetrack hammered by overnight and morning rain.

Working by himself with Tammy Fox up, Shackleford skipped over the wet surface, going in steady splits of 12 seconds, 23.80, 35.60, and 47.80, before galloping out in 1:14. His work was among the best of the morning.

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Shackleford’s breeze marked his first drill for trainer Dale Romans since the April 3 Florida Derby, a race in which he set the pace before being caught in the closing yards by Dialed In.

Two leading Kentucky Oaks contenders, R Heat Lightning and Kathmanblu also breezed Saturday morning. The former went a half mile in 49.80 seconds, while the Kathmanblu, working in company with Noble’s Promise, covered five furlongs in 1:02.80.

R Heat Lightning, winner of the Davona Dale Stakes and Gulfstream Park Oaks earlier this year for trainer Todd Pletcher, was timed in splits of 12.40, 24.80, and 37.20 before galloping out in 1:03.40.

The Ken McPeek-trained Kathmanblu, working on the rail, at least three to four paths to the inside of Noble’s Promise, finished a neck behind her older, more experienced 4-year-old workmate.

Noble’s Promise most notably won the Grade 1 Breeder’s Futurity in 2009, ran fifth in the 2010 Kentucky Derby, and fifth in his last start, the Grade 1 Malibu Dec. 26 at Santa Anita.

Churchill clockers timed Kathmanblu in splits of 13.20, 25.40, 37.40, and 49.80, with a gallop-out of six furlongs in 1:17.40.

Kathmanblu, like Shackleford, is a winner over the Churchill Downs strip, having won the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes here last fall in one of her biggest victories.

These works all came at approximately 8:30 a.m. during a training period restricted to potential Derby and Oaks starters, immediately following track renovation break.