Romans hoping for a winning start for Shackleford in his 2012 seasonal debut in the Donn Handicap
Success has eluded the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes winner, Shackleford, ever since he won the biggest race of his career. The one of three horses, who ran all the three legs of the Triple Crown, came close to winning a race on three occasions last year.
Dale Romans trained newly turned 4-year-old colt, Shackleford ran a big race in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational, but got beat inches before the line, by an awesome run by, Coil, who was never in contention, but showed an amazing turn of foot to out finish
his biggest threat in the competition.
Shackleford was denied a possible victory, but after a disappointing start in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes, where he finished eighth, Shackleford bounced back in style in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby when he ran over at 1 1/16 miles for the first time in his
Wilburn got the better of Shackleford in that race, and the W. D. Cubbedge and Michael Lauffer owned colt had to be content with another second place finish in three consecutive races.
However, it wasn’t to end there, as Shackleford got jinxed for the third time, this time by, Caleb’s Posse, in another massive race, the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs on 5 November, 2011.
Shackleford’s sophomore season is done and dusted now, as he is readied to face the music at the next level, the 4-year-old division, packed with new challenges and tougher races, but Dale Romans has had no glitches when it has come to preparing, Shackleford,
for his 2012 seasonal debut.
The Kentucky bred son of Forestry, out of mare Oatsee by Unbridled, Shackleford will enter a field of 8 in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap to get his 4-year-old season underway at Gulfstream Park on 11 February, 2012, at about 1 1/8 miles on dirt against 3-year-old
and above males.
It will be a real test for Shackleford, against the likes of Ruler on Ice, Mucho Macho Man and Trickmeister.
“Everything looks good – we’re ready,” said Romans. “It looks like it’s going to be a very strong field, but we’re not about to duck anybody now.”