The Spa Spot: Shackleford will run in Vanderbilt Sunday
Multiple graded stakes winner Shackleford will run in the Grade 1 A.G. Vanderbilt on Sunday, trainer Dale Romans said Monday.
The colt was being pointed toward the Grade 1 Forego on September 1 and Romans has decided to ship him from Kentucky to Saratoga Springs this week for the $400,000 Vanderbilt. It will be Shackleford's first try at six furlongs.
“Our plan is to run in the Vanderbilt,” Romans said. “The only thing that would change our plans is if we don’t like the way he is handling the track after he arrives at Saratoga.”
Owned by Bill Cubbedge, Michael Lauffer and Phillips Racing Partnership, Shackleford will be making his first start since defeating Caleb’s Posse by a nose in the Grade 1, $750,000 Met Mile on May 28 at Belmont Park.
Shackleford, winner of the 2011 Preakness Stakes at 1 3/16 miles, will attempt to join an elite group of horses that have won Grade 1 races at six furlongs and also at distances longer than 1 1/8 miles.
According to NYRA, since the graded stakes system was introduced in 1973, only four horses are believed to have achieved this feat: Ruffian won the six-furlong Spinaway and Sorority in 1974 and the 1½-mile Coaching Club American Oaks in 1975, Foolish Pleasure won the six-furlong Sapling in 1974, the 1¼-mile Kentucky Derby in 1975, and the 1 3/16-mile Suburban in 1976, Precisionist won the 1984 Swaps at 1¼ miles and the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and Dancing Spree won the 1989 Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the 1¼-mile Suburban.