Off a day of high expectations
that turned into disappointments, trainer Dale Romans was back at work Sunday
morning, putting in entries for later race days.
For Romans’ star 3-year-old Shackleford, there was little to do
other than get him ready to head back to Kentucky following an eighth-place
finish in the Grade 1, $1 million Travers.
Sent off as the third choice, at
just under 4-1, in the field of 10, the Preakness winner raced outside winner
Stay Thirsty and Ruler On Ice into the backstretch, made the lead through a
half-mile in 47.63 seconds and six furlongs in 1:11.91 but had no punch turning
“He came out good; we’ll just go
home and regroup,” said Romans, who will remain in
Saratoga through the rest
of the race meet. “We don’t have an explanation for it. He wasn’t quite on the
bit. He’s still on track for the Breeders’ Cup.”
Compounding Romans’ woes was the
poor performance of his ace sprinter Sassy Image, strong favorite to win the
Grade 1 Ballerina for fillies and mares at seven furlongs.
Looking for her third Grade 1 win
of the year, Sassy Image hopped awkwardly from the gate at the start, lagged
behind the field and bore out badly on the turn. She finished more than 26
lengths behind winner Hilda’s Passion.
Afterward, Romans discovered
Sassy Image had torn a quarter on her left front.
“That’s why she was getting out
like she did,” he said. “She might have done it while she was coming out of the
gate. She jumped pretty good.”
Romans put a picture of the hoof
on the Romans Racing Stable Facebook page.