07/14/2012 2:29PM

Shackleford to target Forego rather than Whitney

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It appears as though Shackleford will be kept in races at a mile or shorter – at least for the foreseeable future.

On Saturday, trainer Dale Romans said Shackleford would not run in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap, a two-turn 1 1/8-mile race, at Saratoga on Aug. 4. Instead Shackleford will be pointed to the Grade 1, $500,000 Forego, a seven-furlong race at Saratoga on Sept. 1. Romans left the door open for a start in the Grade 1, $400,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt, a six-furlong race on Aug. 5.

“The Forego, Kelso and [Breeders’ Cup Dirt] Mile is the most logical path to take, but with that being said sometimes I don’t do the most logical things,” Romans said. “There’s a chance we could show up in the Vanderbilt if I felt he was doing really well and use it more as a training tool than anything.”

Also, Romans didn’t entirely rule out running Shackleford in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. The Dirt Mile is run around two turns, while the Classic is run at 1 1/4 miles, also around two turns.

“When it comes to the Breeders’ Cup, I’m never going to rule out the Classic until the day of entries,” Romans said.

Romans said that it took Shackleford a little bit longer than usual to recover from his hard-fought victory over Caleb’s Posse in the Grade 1 Met Mile at Belmont on May 28. Romans said it has been only in the last couple of weeks where Shackleford has shown his old spunk. On Saturday, Shackleford worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 at Churchill Downs, the fastest of 12 moves at the distance.

“That Met Mile performance took a little bit out of him,” Romans said. “We gave him a little break at WinStar. He never got back on his toes until the last couple of weeks. Today, he was back on his game. That was his old self.”

Romans said Shackleford, last year’s Preakness winner, would work again next Saturday at Churchill.

Dullahan works toward Haskell

Also Saturday, Romans sent out multiple Grade 1 winner Dullahan for a five-furlong work in 1:01.60 in preparation for a start in the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 29.

Dullahan won the Blue Grass on synthetic and finished third in the Kentucky Derby. After skipping the Preakness, he ran a disappointing seventh in the Belmont Stakes as the 5-2 favorite.

Romans said he and owner Jerry Crawford want to give Dullahan one more try on dirt before possibly returning to the turf later in the summer.

“We’re going to give him one last chance in the Haskell,” Romans said. “If he runs big that’s great. If we find he just isn’t as good on the dirt then we’ll take him to the Secretariat at Arlington in August.”

Romans said that he wants to prove to potential breeders that Dullahan, a half-brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, can be successful on dirt.

“If he can win a big race on dirt he’ll get a big chance in Lexington to be a top sire,” Romans said. “If you’re strictly considered a turf or synthetic horse . . . you can get it done like Kitten’s Joy, but it’s more of an uphill battle.”

Speaking of turf, Romans scratched Silver Max out of Saturday’s American Derby at Arlington and will point him to next Saturday’s Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs. Romans also plans to run Finnegan’s Wake in that race.

* At Saratoga Wood Memorial runner-up Alpha worked five furlongs in a bullet 58.88 seconds over the main track. He is being pointed to the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 28.

Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
got to be a good move for "THE HORSE"...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With the way Monmouth plays Bodemeister will probably cruise. A quick $1 million for Mr. Baffert
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Breeders Cup should combine the dirt mile and sprint into a nice 7f race. It would be loaded.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good move, focusing Shackleford on his strengths. The Preakness notwithstanding, he's a long sprinter/miler at heart. The Whitney was just coming up too tough for him carrying speed for that long.
denali1 More than 1 year ago
I dont know Romans you maybe know more than me on this but why the hell run Dullahan over a speed bias track such as Monmouth?
JW More than 1 year ago
Did you read the article? . .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didn't Coil win last year coming from the back of the pack?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Coil was 8th and last through 6f in last years Haskell before winning.
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
That one example fits your argument, however 80% of the races there over the past 5yrs don't. Coil was a complete RAT!!
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
I agree though. Terrible choice, Run him in Jim Dandy and if he runs well the travers, Saratoga would suit him much better. Monmouth is a merry go round.
JW More than 1 year ago
Once again . . did anybody read the article? . . The Haskell is for $1 million . . Jim Dandy considerably less . . if Dullahan picks up his hoofs and run well in the Haskell then The Travers is in play . . as well as the Grade 1 Secretariat if he doesn't . . it is all about keeping the options open . . Romans' has spotted a few runners well in his resume . . Whitney, World Dubai Cup, Arlington Million, multiple Breeders' Cup, Preakness, etc, etc . . While he probably respects all of your opinions . . I think he has the situation under control . .