09/10/2011 12:11PM

Shackleford, Sassy Image may still make Breeders' Cup

Barbara D. Livingston
Shackleford came out of his disappointing finish in the Travers in good shape and is likely to race again this year.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Trainer Dale Romans said Saturday morning that his two stable stars, Shackleford and Sassy Image, came out of their disappointing last-out races at Saratoga “okay” but that he has not yet pinned down a next start for either horse.

Preakness winner Shackleford was beaten more than 22 lengths when eighth in the Aug. 27 Travers Stakes, about an hour after Sassy Image was virtually eased after grabbing a quarter leaving the gate in the Ballerina.

“Obviously it wasn’t a good day, but fortunately both of them are back home doing well,” Romans said at his Churchill Downs home base. “I really haven’t decided what to do with either of them, although if we want to make the Breeders’ Cup, they’d both probably figure to need another race.” The Breeders’ Cup is set for Nov. 4-5 at Churchill.

Until Travers Day, Shackleford was considered a top candidate for divisional honors among 3-year-olds, while Sassy Image was a leader in the filly-mare sprint division. Prior to the Ballerina, Sassy Image had won three straight stakes, the Grade 1 Humana Distaff, the Grade  3 Winning Colors, and the Grade 1 Princess Rooney.

Romans said he was unsure when he would have either horse breeze. “I’m just glad to have them healthy,” he said.

◗ The new pick five wager at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., handled $6,414 and $6,562 on Thursday and Friday, the first two programs of the 16-day meet. The 50-cent pick five, which has become a popular wager at a number of tracks throughout North America, replaces the $2 pick six. It starts on the third race on each card. Turfway runs Thursdays through Sundays through Oct. 2.

◗ Victor Lebron and apprentice Roberto Morales opened the Turfway meet in quick fashion, with Lebron riding four winners on the 12-race Friday evening card and Morales winning three races.

◗ Nelson Arroyo has hung up his tack to become the agent for Lebron and Jimmy Lopez. Arroyo, 31, suffered multiple injuries, including several shattered vertebrae, in an April 2010 spill at Indiana Downs before being sidelined 14 months and attempting a brief comeback this summer. He rode his last race at Hoosier Park on Aug. 16.

◗ Worldly, winner of the Prairie Meadows Handicap in July, could make his next start in the Oct. 8 Hawthorne Gold Cup, said trainer Paul McGee. Worldly, a full brother to Suave, most recently was third as the favorite in the Aug. 20 Governor’s Cup at Remington Park. The 4-year-old colt breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 Saturday at Churchill.

Another McGee trainee, Infrattini, could run next in the Oct. 1 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park. Infrattini, a fast-closing fourth behind Prayer for Relief in the West Virginia Derby last out, breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02.80 Thursday at Churchill.

◗ Reconstruction on the barns damaged in the June 22 tornado at Churchill was scheduled to wrap up by the end of this week.