06/15/2011 11:13AM

Shackleford to spend two weeks at WinStar Farm and then be pointed to Haskell

Barbara D. Livingston
Shackleford is likely to make his next start in the Haskell at Monmouth Park.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Preakness winner Shackleford has been sent to WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., for a two-week break before gearing back up for a run in the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 31 at Monmouth Park, said trainer Dale Romans.

“He’s just going to get some rest he deserves,” said Romans. “He might go into a round pen on some grass, maybe hand-walk a little bit. I’m really, really happy with him. He gave us a great Triple Crown, and I’d have to think he’s right in the thick of it for champion 3-year-old this year.”

Romans said the $750,000 West Virginia Derby on Aug. 7 at Mountaineer Park would “only be a fall-back plan in case we can’t make the Haskell for some reason.”

Bonus clauses in the conditions of the West Virginia Derby would make the connections of Animal Kingdom, Shackleford, and Ruler On Ice eligible to earn an additional $200,000 with a victory – it would be $150,000 additional to a Grade 1 winner this year, and another $50,000 to a Triple Crown race winner – but Romans said flatly that “the Haskell is our next goal.”

Both the Haskell and West Virginia Derby are run at 1 1/8 miles, an ideal distance for the speedy Shackleford.

A couple of hours before Shackleford faded to finish fifth Saturday in the Belmont Stakes last Saturday, Romans sent out C.S. Silk to a 12-1 upset in the Grade 1 Just a Game. The victory capped a different triple of sorts for the stable.

“We won a Grade 1 on the Derby undercard, a Grade 2 on the Preakness undercard, and a Grade 1 on the Belmont undercard,” noted Romans, referring to Sassy Image winning the Humana Distaff on Derby Day and Paddy O’Prado taking the Dixie Stakes in his career finale on Preakness Day.