09/01/2012 10:38AM

Saratoga: Shackleford ill, scratched from Forego


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Shackleford, the 2-1 morning-line favorite, was scratched from Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Forego Stakes at Saratoga due to an illness, trainer Dale Romans said Saturday morning.

Romans said Shackleford had coughed last week and he treated him with medication, which helped stop the coughing. But when he took the horse off the medication, Shackleford coughed again and Friday night left some feed.

“He obviously has a little bug of some kind so I’m not going to run,” Romans said. “I couldn’t get as aggressive as I wanted getting ready for the race. He wasn’t 100 percent. He left a little grain, he coughed twice, that’s enough for me.”

Romans said that he would put Shackleford on antibiotics to clear up whatever ailment the horse has and he would attempt to get him ready for the Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso, a one-turn mile race at Belmont Park on Sept. 29.

Shackleford won the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, a one-turn mile race at Belmont on May 28. In his only other start since then, Shackleford finished last in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt, run over a sloppy track.

Shackleford, owned by Michael Lauffer and William Cubbedge and the Phillips Racing Partnership, won the 2011 Preakness Stakes and has banked more than $2.7 million.

The scratch of Shackleford leaves an eight-horse field for the Forego with Jackson Bend, Pacific Ocean and Emcee likely vying for favoritism.