08/02/2012 3:25PM

Saratoga: Shackleford late addition to Vanderbilt


Dale Romans’s strong arsenal of stakes stars will be represented here Sunday by Shackleford, who has been supplemented into the Grade 1 Alfred Vanderbilt Handicap. The six-furlong stakes drew a field of eight that also includes Emcee, Justin Phillip, Rothko, Poseidon’s Warrior, Sloane Ranger, Jersey Town, and Hamazing Destiny.

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Romans said Thursday he was not too concerned about the upcoming post position draw later that afternoon for the Vanderbilt other than he would “just as soon not have the 1 hole.”

Sure enough, Shackleford drew the rail for the six-furlong Vanderbilt. Shackleford was scheduled to arrive at Saratoga from Churchill Downs on Thursday.

“I’ll watch him train the next couple of days, and if he does good we’ll run,” said Romans. “I think his sprint race at Churchill Downs this spring was one of his best. It was seven furlongs and they ran a fast three-quarters in there too. If he runs like he’s supposed to on Sunday, we’ll go to the Forego.” Shackleford outgamed the reigning Sprint champion Amazombie to capture the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Sprint as a prelude to his even more courageous nose decision over Caleb’s Posse in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on May 28.