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Carter Rematch Likely in Met Mile

Caleb's Posse, ridden by jockey Rajiv Maragh and trained by Donnie Von Hemel wins the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on November 5, 2011.

Caleb’s Posse and Shackleford, the respective second- and third-place finishers in yesterday’s Carter, were reported by their trainers to be under consideration for the Met Mile on May 28 at Belmont Park after exiting Saturday's race in good shape.


In the Carter, Caleb’s Posse’s late run came up a nose short to Jackson Bend. It was the second consecutive tough beat at Aqueduct for the 2011 Grade 1 Foxwoods King’s Bishop and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner, who was second by a neck in the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap on March 3.


“He's doing good,” said Von Hemel. “He's on a flight to Kentucky right now, and then he’ll go to Oaklawn.”


Von Hemel said he and owners McNeill Stables and Cheyenne Stables are pondering the Met Mile for Caleb’s Posse’s next start, but trainer said it’s too early to begin seeing the race as a rematch between the Carter’s first three finishers.


“I think the Met Mile would be under very serious consideration [for Caleb’s Posse], but it’s too early to speculate on who’s going to the race. We’ll have a better idea of who is going a couple of weeks before the race.”


Trainer Dale Romans lauded Shackleford for his performance in the Carter, in which he set the pace and yielded in the stretch to finish third by 1 1/2 lengths. It was the 2011 Grade 1 Preakness winner’s first start at seven furlongs since his maiden victory in the fall of 2010.


“I thought he ran well,” said Romans of Shackleford, who Sunday morning was en route to the trainer’s base at Churchill Downs. “It was a fast race with three fast horses. He didn’t get beat far, and he showed he can run with some of the fastest horses in the country.”


Romans, who trains Shackleford for Michael Lauffer and W.D. Cubbedge, said he plans to keep the colt in one-turn races and that there’s a “strong possibility” the Met Mile will be his next start.


“We didn’t duck anybody last year,” said Romans, “and we’re not going to duck anybody this year.”


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