07/30/2012 2:34PM

Saratoga: Shackleford cutting back for Vanderbilt Handicap

Tom Keyser
Shackleford will race at six furlongs for the first time in Sunday's Grade 1, $400,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Shackleford has run 16 times at seven different distances, but has never run at six furlongs.

That will change Sunday, when the dual Grade 1-winning Shackleford will run in the Grade 1, $400,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga at six furlongs.

Shackleford, not an original nominee to the Vanderbilt, had to be supplemented to the race by Monday for $8,000. Weights for the race were scheduled to be released later Monday afternoon.

Trainer Dale Romans and owners Michael Lauffer, William Cubbedge, and John Phillips decided to use the Vanderbilt to prepare for the Grade 1 Forego here Sept. 1. The Forego is run at seven furlongs, a distance at which Shackleford has won at twice, including the Churchill Downs on May 5 where he defeated defending sprint champion Amazombie, who won Sunday’s Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar.

“Looking at the big picture, I’m working him anyway, might as well get a race into him going into the Forego and for the rest of the fall,” Romans said. “He likes to run.”

Shackleford won the Preakness at 1 3/16 miles and has twice won at the one-mile distance, including the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont on May 28, his last start.

Asked if he felt Shackleford could be effective going six furlongs, Romans said, “I think he’s fast enough for it.”

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Romans said it took Shackleford longer than usual to rebound from his victory in the Met Mile. Romans decided to keep the horse running in shorter-distanced races for the foreseeable future.

Shackleford has been training at Churchill Downs, where on Saturday he went a half-mile in 48.20 seconds over the main track.

Shackleford will be flown from Kentucky to New York on Thursday.

Others expected for the Vanderbilt are Emcee, Hamazing Destiny, Jersey Town, Justin Phillip, and Rothko.

Maria Knack More than 1 year ago
Just love Shackleford! He is the hardest working horse out there! What a specimen! Love watching him race, I think this will be a good distance for him since he likes the lead and with Johnny V aboard, he wil be unstoppable.
Kyle Gambrell More than 1 year ago
Love watching Shackleford run!! Back to one turn and wire-to-wire would be the only finish I could see for shack. Now the only questions is, can we can get him better than even money?
russell More than 1 year ago
So far the best race of the year was the Met Mile between Shack and Caleeb's Posse. Unfortunately this was their last dance. Both are real good horses that give everything they have in the tank.
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
at 6 furlongs he will likely need to be able to come off the pace and pass horses late. I am a fan of this hard trying animal and he could be a low # in this race and be put in a situation - either he runs faster early than normal and has to keep going or he relaxes and comes in the lane. the value may welll lie elsewhere.
Jack More than 1 year ago
Ive never seen Shack "relax" in a race,hes usually is right on the pace for the 1st quarter then throws it down for the 2nd quarter like he did in the Met. If your still beside him after a half you know you had to work for it.He really digs in near the wire and that long head and neck are perfect for photo finishes.Im surprised it took his connections this long to try 6F as i think it could be his best distance.Main concern is that this is a "prep" for the Forego and he probably isnt totally cranked.
redboy More than 1 year ago
Shackleford Vs The Factor WOW!!!!!!! Shackleford shackleford S H A C K L E F O R D !!!!!!!
russell More than 1 year ago
Shack is a better horse than The Factor who flopped in Dubai and in the BC Sprint.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Factor has lost 3 in a row,lol. I really hope he runs in the BC sprint so I can bet against
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Shackleford is THE BEST RACEHORSE running right now. Nobody wants to face a horse that has his guts. Speed that lasts and courage=RACEHORSE!!
Alex More than 1 year ago
Lasts a mile... Don't get me wrong, though. I like Shack.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
He's raced vs. full fields. He's hasn't got ducked
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
Shackleford and Justin Phillip exacta box.
Mark Robbens More than 1 year ago
The way dales barn has been going up here shack be lucky to hit the board
Mike Rutledge More than 1 year ago
Hey Ray Sousa - I agree with you 100%. Your are absolutely right. Also, OJ is completely innocent!
Rosanne Frieri More than 1 year ago
Go Shack show them how to do it!