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Shackleford Hopes to Go Out a Winner in the Clark

Shackleford, a multiple Grade I winner of more than $2.8 million, will seek to end his career on a high note when he makes his final start in Friday’s 138th running of the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) at Churchill Downs.  
 
The 1 1/8-mile Clark, named for Churchill Downs founder Col. M. Lewis Clark, is one of four stakes created for the inaugural meeting in 1875. It will highlight Churchill Downs’ 12-race “Black Friday” racing program, which begins at 12:40 p.m. (all times Eastern). The Clark goes as Race 11 at 5:35 p.m., which means it will be contested under the lights for the second consecutive year because sunset is 5:25 p.m.   
 
        Mike LaufferBill Cubbedge and Phillips Racing Partnership’s Shackleford, the 120-pound highweight in the field of 10, will be making his first start at the Louisville track since defeating Amazombie, 2011 champion male sprinter, in the Churchill Downs (GII) on the Kentucky Derby Day undercard. He returned in the Met Mile (GI) at Belmont Park and scored a narrow victory over Caleb’s Posse. In his most recent start, he finished a troubled seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) at Santa Anita.
 
        Trainer Dale Romans chose the Clark Handicap over Saturday’s Cigar Mile (GI) at Aqueduct as the final race for Shackleford, who will stand stud atDarby Dan Farm.
 
        “I wanted to run him at Churchill Downs and didn’t want to ship him,” Romans said. “He’s doing good here right now and he likes this racetrack. I think he’ll run big and the 1 1/8 miles might be a little easier on him pace wise than the (Cigar) Mile.”
 
        The Clark will be the first start at a distance greater than one mile for the 4-year-old Shackleford since finishing seventh in the Donn Handicap (GI) at Gulfstream Park in February. He began his 3-year-old campaign with a 2 ¼-length victory in a 1 1/8-mile allowance at Gulfstream and went on to win the 1 3/16-mile Preakness (GI) over Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) winner Animal Kingdom.
 
        Jesus Castanon, who was aboard for Shackleford’s Preakness victory, will be reunited with the chestnut son of Forestry and guide him from post three.
 
        “He ranks right up there with some of the best horses I’ve trained,” Romans said. “He’s done all he needs to do, but it’ll be hard to see him go. Horses like him are hard to replace.”
 
        Weighted at 118 pounds and breaking from the rail under the Spring Meet’s leading rider Corey Lanerie is Bill Farish Jr.’s Pool Play, winner of the 2011 Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs.
 
        Trained by Mark Casse, Pool Play won the Hawthorne Gold Cup (GII) and then finished eighth behind Fort Larned in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
 
        “Pool Play loves Churchill Downs,” Casse said. “It’s coming back a little quick (20 days), but I think he just kind of went around the track in California. Also, this race is hard to pass up when we know he likes it here.”
 
        Two of the main rivals for Shackleford and Pool Play could be 3-year-olds Take Charge Indy and Bourbon Courage who are both weighted at 117 pounds.
 
        Chuck and Maribeth Sandford LLC’s Take Charge Indy won the Florida Derby (GI) at Gulfstream in March and then ran 19th of 20 in the Kentucky Derby. He exited the latter with a chip in his left front ankle and was sidelined for the summer. A dark bay or brown son of A.P. Indy out of the three-time Grade I-winning mare Take Charge Lady, Take Charge Indy returned off a near six-month layoff in the Fayette (GII) on the Polytrack at Keeneland and finished third behind Newsdad and Nikki’s Sandcastle.
 
        “He got so much out of (the Fayette),” trainer Pat Byrne said. “I bet he’s five or six lengths better (now). I was so apprehensive going into the Fayette off a six-month layoff, but I could only train him so much. He nearly pulled it off.”
 
        Take Charge Indy will break from post six under Calvin Borel, who enters the week just four wins shy of becoming the 26th jockey to reach the 5,000-win milestone.
 
        Bourbon Lane Stable and Wayne Lynn’s Bourbon Courage enters the Clark off a runner-up finish to Neck ’n Neck in the Indiana Derby (GII). Prior to that effort, the bay son of Lion Heart won the Super Derby (GII) at Louisiana Downs for trainer Kellyn Gorder.
 
“(The Clark) has been our big target (since the Indiana Derby),” Gorder said. “It’s kind of like our Breeders’ Cup.”
 
Bourbon Courage will break from post four under Leandro Goncalves.
 
Also weighted at 117 pounds is Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Cease, runner-up to Pool Play in the Hawthorne Gold Cup. Prior to that effort, the 5-year-old gelded son of War Chant finished third behind To Honor and Serve and Mucho Macho Man in the Woodward (GI) at Saratoga. The Al Stall Jr. trainee will break from post five under Miguel Mena.  
 

           The field for the Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare, from the rail out (with jockey and weight): Pool Play (Lanerie, 118), Eye of the Leopard (Jon Court, 115), Shackleford (Castanon, 120), Bourbon Courage (Goncalves, 117), Cease (Mena, 117), Take Charge Indy (Borel, 117), Fast Falcon (Shaun Bridgmohan, 113), Stealcase (Brian Hernandez Jr., 115), Mission Impazible (Javier Castellano, 115) and Lunar Victory (Junior Alvarado, 116). 

 

 

 

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Older Comments about Shackleford Hopes to Go Out a Winner in the Clark...

Your Welcome Buds, LOL. Congrats for cashing.
Great race by shack, I new he could wire that field easly. That was like takin candy from a baby. Thanks to all of you Bourbon Courage fans, You talked me into a last minute $20. show bet!
Congrats, Shack!!!!! Great way to close your career!!!!! AND THIS JUST IN!!!!!! William Mott has come for a turkey sandwich!!!!! And to witness a legend. Gobble, gobble, gobble.
Bourbon Courage, Cease, and Lunar Victory. LV's first trip outside of NY, and outside of the state-bred competition that he's been facing. But, William Mott is not coming in for a ham sandwich. Love Shackleford, but think he's past his prime. Wouldn't mind seeing him close out in grand fashion.
Pool Play has been scratched.
Bourban Courage is IMO the one to beat, Shackleford is past his prime since he won the Met Mileand he should have been retired sooner than this , lets hope he circles the track which is all he will do and does not get hurt in the process.
Thanks, icy. GL
Mission Implazable looks broken to me.
With little early speed, it looks like it could play well for Shack to wire the field. TCI seems to be the only horse that can go with him (welcome back TCI-tough horse to challenge for the lead). If it does melt down I like Pool Play, Cease, and LV.
Well all is about the pace here and as Stealcase has the best finish of all here so look up!
Mary, I like him in the money (MI) as he's faced all the best. I pretty much know how it will be run. What I don't know and need to dig a little deeper into is if TCI can be rated, if not MI has a very good chance of being the benificiary of a meltdown. If I get time I'm going to look at it again Friday. If I feel I have a a decent grasp and am going to wager I'll post it here or in your email, or FB as I copied your address when you posted it the other day along with cacao2. I do feel whether there is a meltdown or not he should get the 1st or 2nd spot. Castellano wants to keep this mount and if he feels that way, he'll run next year and he should be in decent form now and sit a good trip. It took me two yrs to get on the right side of GOD going back to his Belmont Stakes. It happens, lol
icy, I was going to ask if anyone was giving Mission Impazible a shot, second off a layoff. He runs well when I don't include him, lol.
I think he has soured to racing, Hope I am wrong.
Get excitied about horses in general. Sure we would all like them to run often and be the ones we like, but that is the same thing as wanting your sports team to win every game. Success is only sweet when it come with aversity.
I believe if he breaks clean, and gets to the front without troubles, he will win! This is my hope for him!!
Shackleford is the single reason for my new found interest in horse racing. I will miss watching him very much. I can watch his Preakness win and his CH Stakes win over and over! I was so very disappointed when he stumbled out of the gate in the BCDM.
What a great racehorse, Shackelford. Hate to see him go, but look forward to his offspring. As game as they come, and always gave it his all. All you mares out there, be gentle.
well i certainly am a fan of Shackleford , his bloodlines go back directly to the Great DR.FAGER who died before his time but by the time his last crop hit the track FAGER was leading the nation in the world of stallions
Mission Impazible with Castellano sticking with him is in the mix. This is a great betting race, 5 or 6 combinations and all the vertical exotics are very attainable
I don't agree as he is, realistically taking a steep drop in class and an 80% Shack should beat this bunch. He likes CD. Pool Play and Lunar victory fit also.

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