Shackleford will not be remembered as a winner of the Preakness, winner of the Preakness or even above average. He and the other 3 years old this season is one of the weakest crop of thoroughbreds in recent years. However, giving credit foal: This is a fight gutsier the vast majority of horses that may have more capacity for raw materials
When he turned to the Pimlico stretch Saturday, Shackleford would be willing to give up after a grueling fight early lead. Animal Kingdom had begun to speed up the turn and was about to launch an event that led him to victory in the Kentucky Derby. One foot in the Triple Crown appeared in his hand. But a resolute Shackleford kept him out of a length in half, disappointing many fans who were hoping that Animal Kingdom would be a colt, which ended the 33-year drought without a Triple Crown winner.
Animal Kingdom had no excuse. The Preakness had looked as if she could submit an ideal configuration because of the presence of fast sprinter Flashpoint. It was almost certain to set a faster pace than the moderate pace in the Derby, and a poorly thought warm rhythm horses run Flashpoint and help stretch-runners.
Conventional wisdom suggests that the tactics for the system may stop Flashpoint Shackleford moved to a stalking position behind him. But Shackleford himself had other ideas. In the paddock and in his pre-race warm-up, the colt was sweating and obviously not relaxed. NBC commentator knowledgeable horse, Donna Barton Brothers, commented. "Shackleford is hot rolled I do not like what I see," predicted analyst Gary Stevens, jockey Jesus Castanon would not be able to keep his horse ". . There will be a hot rhythm "
However, Dale Romans, coach Shackleford, was unfazed by his 3-year performance at Pimlico. "It was like that in almost all their careers," said Roman.
Flashpoint once slipped out the door and went to the head, let go after him Castañón Shackleford, and walking at two speeds led the first quarter, 22.69 seconds. It was the fastest opening quarter of the Preakness since 1999. The three horses who set a pace that year liquidation seventh, eighth and 10th. That's what usually happens when the horse set a frenetic pace of a classic distance.
However, the racing world has learned that this is the best game of Shackleford. When he ran in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park this winter, Shackleford was fired with a market share of 68 to 1 against a field of rapid precursors (including flash point), but struggled to lead and arranged all the speed of horses. When the stretch running hook made him, fought with tenacity. He lost a close photo finish, but he was knighted by the defeat, and has become a contender for the Kentucky Derby.
However, his performance at Churchill Downs seems to contradict the normal logic of disability. It has a very slow pace, the rules of Derby, which should have left the energy reserves after turning down the stretch to lead. But he went and left to finish fourth. Why was it wrong apparently favorable circumstances?
Romans had a theory. "I firmly believe," he said, "that when the pace is slow, to keep the farm running. The company flew home in the Derby. But [in the Preakness] had the same stimulus."
Graham and John Velazquez Motion, the trainer and jockey of the animal kingdom, agreed that the acceleration to their foals in a less comfortable he had found in the Derby. At Churchill Downs, Velazquez said, "I was right behind the other horses" in striking position clear. But after the first quarter mile at Pimlico entire field has been expanded, and Animal Kingdom, finished 13th in the around 14, with dirt flying in his face and 18 lengths to make up. This should be a test.
Flashpoint Shackleford and ran head and head three-quarters of a mile, slower in the second and third quarters that many of their rivals - Midnight Interlude, astrology and dancing in the city - moved within striking distance. But none of them had a great kick to deliver. Shackleford inherited the lead and Castañón said: ". I knew I still had horses "
All eyes watch the races looked green and red silk Value Team International. Moving three wide, Velasquez Animal Kingdom tour through traffic on the turn, passing nine horses. In the stretch, still had 31 / 2 lengths to compensate. He could not.
Motion said: "He ran huge I am very happy with the way he ran .." But in reality, Animal Kingdom is not good race. Time for Shackleford 1:56:47 13 / 16 Miles has been slower in the race since 1993. Due to the circumstances of his victory, the winner is probably a better racehorse than the raw numbers suggest, but a worthy Triple Crown aspirant should have been able to catch.