Updated on 08/22/2011 12:09PM

Travers horses work on three fronts Saturday; Shackleford goes five furlongs

Barbara D. Livingston
Shackleford has thrived at Saratoga, according to trainer Dale Romans.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Though he has gone winless with his first 21 mounts at this meet, jockey Jesus Castanon still had plenty to smile about Saturday morning at Saratoga. And it wasn’t just because of the glorious weather.

On Saturday morning, Castanon guided Shackleford through a solid five-furlong work in 1:00.88 over the main track in preparation for a start in next Saturday’s $1 million Travers Stakes.

Working over a fast track shortly after the renovation break, Shackleford went in fractions of 12.42 seconds, 24.36, and 36.35, meaning he got his last quarter in 24.53 seconds. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.48 and pulled up seven furlongs in 1:30.19.

“The best thing was the finish of the work, he finished up real strong and galloped out real good," Castanon said. “That’s what you want from horses like that. They start off a decent pace in the beginning and they finish up strong."

With Shackleford’s regular exercise rider in Kentucky and with his work rider, Tammy Fox, having left to take her daughter to college, Castanon has been getting on Shackleford in the morning regularly. He has been impressed with how the horse has trained here

“He likes this place, loves it," Castanon said. “He’s a lot more relaxed. He goes over the track real good."

Dale Romans, the trainer of Shackleford has also been pleased with how Shackleford has done since arriving at Saratoga on Aug. 1, the day after he finished second to Coil in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

“He started bouncing off the van and he’s been happy ever since he’s been here," Romans said. “He’s gotten over the track as good as any horse I have here. This track’s a little different this year, not everybody seems to like it, but he sure does."

Shackleford was one of four Travers horses to put in workouts Saturday.

Shortly before Shackleford breezed, Bowman’s Causeway went five furlongs 59.81 seconds in company with the 3-year-old Global Power. Bowman’s Causeway started a half-length behind Global Power and finished up a neck behind at the wire. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.00.

Bowman’s Causeway ran in all three legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, getting beat a nose in the Prince of Wales Stakes over Fort Erie’s dirt surface on July 17.

“All three races were solid, but he definitely needs to come with a career top in this race to hit the board and to potentially win it," Brown said “He’d have to come up with a big number, from what I’m seeing I don’t think it’s totally out of the question that he can do it. He’s giving me signals in the morning like he’s sitting on a career race."

Ramon Dominguez will ride Bowman’s Causeway in the Travers.

At Monmouth Park, Belmont Stakes winner and Haskell third-place finisher Ruler On Ice worked four furlongs in 48.60 seconds under jockey Jose Valdivia in company with the multiple graded stakes winner Pants On Fire. Trainer Kelly Breen said he is seeing some of the same signs leading up to this race.

“Honestly, I gave Jose a leg up and I said be on guard, he’s been sharp lately," Breen said. “Before he ran in the Belmont he did some antics and he hurt Jose’s back. He’s training awfully well, he looks happy, and he’s doing everything just right."

At Woodbine, Jim Dandy runner-up Moonshine Mullin worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 over the dirt training track, according to trainer Reade Baker. Jockey Emma Jayne Wilson was up for the move.

Baker said that both he and Wilson believe Moonshine Mullin is training “as good or better" than he was leading up to the Jim Dandy. Moonshine Mullin is expected to arrive in Saratoga on Monday night.

* Haskell winner Coil is expected to work here on Tuesday, after which trainer Bob Baffert will make a decision on whether he will run in the Travers. Others pointing to the race include Stay Thirsty, Rattlesnake Bridge, and J W Blue. Arthur’s Tale is possible.

MORE: Full Coverage of the 2011 Travers Stakes »