Lauffer and W.D. Cubbedge’s Shackleford, who bested Kentucky Derby winner
Animal Kingdom when upsetting this year’s Preakness Stakes (G1) at 12-1, is
scheduled to work at Churchill Downs on Sunday before vanning up to Monmouth
Park Tuesday morning, trainer Dale Romans said.
Sunday’s breeze will be the final
serious work for the 3-year-old colt by Forestry who will gallop up to Sunday’s
Grade 1, $1 million Resorts Haskell Invitational after arriving at Monmouth.
“He really seems to have held his
flesh very well following the Triple Crown,” Romans said. “He’s been training great recently and
everything is a go for the Haskell.
We’re very happy with how he is doing.”
Earlier this year, Shackleford burst
onto the 3-year-old scene by finishing an ultra-game second behind Dialed In in
the Florida Derby (G1) at 68-1. He
followed up that effort with a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1)
after setting the pace.
Two weeks later, Shackleford sat
just off a blistering pace set by Flashpoint in the Preakness en route to a
victory over Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.
“I think the cutback in distance
(from the 1 ½-mile Belmont Stakes) will help him,” Romans said. “Monmouth is a track that can sometimes be
conducive to speed, but he doesn’t have to be on the lead. He’s shown the ability to sit just off the
pace in the past.”
Last year, Romans saddled his first
Haskell starter when Preakness runner-up First Dude finished third in Monmouth Park’s premier event.
Shackleford is expected to face a
Resorts Haskell field that includes Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Ruler On Ice and
Pegasus (G3) winner Pants On Fire from the barn of Kelly John Breen, Preakness
third-place finisher Astrology, Affirmed (G3) winner Coil, Pegasus runner-up Concealed
Identity, and Bay Shore (G3) winner J J’s Lucky Train.
Tickets for the Resorts Haskell can
be purchased by logging on to www.ticketmaster.com
or through Monmouth
Park’s reserved seat
booth (732-571-5563) located on the second floor of the Grandstand.