03/28/2015 4:09PM

Pants On Fire takes Sir Shacklton Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Pants On Fire, with Paco Lopez aboard, wins his 7-year-old debut in the seven-furlong Sir Shackleton.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -   Pants On Fire became a stakes winner for the fifth year in a row when he rallied from just off the pace to a half-length victory over Confrontation in Saturday’s $75,000 Sir Shackleton at Gulfstream Park.

Pants On Fire is a 7-year-old son of Jump Start owned by Lori and George Hall and trained throughout his amazing career by Kelly Breen. The seven-furlong Sir Shackleton was the first start of the season for Pants On Fire, who finished third in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and came into the race with lifetime earnings of more than $1.4 million.

With regular rider Paco Lopez aboard, Pants On Fire sat a perfect trip, stalking the pace of the odds-on favorite Valid, who set early splits of 22.91 and 46.11 seconds while racing in what has been the deeper going along the rail. Pants On Fire readily overtook the tiring leader upon settling into the stretch, edged clear, and then withstood a final rally from Confrontation. Confrontation angled four wide advancing into the stretch, moved within easy striking distance of the winner near midstretch but could not sustain his bid.  Brothersofthetime finished third. 

Pants On Fire completed seven furlongs in 1:24.61 over a fast but tiring racetrack and paid $8.40.

“It’s a privilege to have such a nice horse,” said Breen. “A 7-year-old, we kept on racing him, and hope to find a nice place for him to be a stallion at the end of the year. If we can get him back to the Breeders’ Cup Mile, that’s the goal for right now. It’s just nice to see him come back like that. I didn’t think I really had him tight enough. And he likes Paco. They just mesh. It was a perfect storm. Everything worked out well.”