I don't know if this race will produce the 3yo champion, but Shackleford certainly fits into the category of recent Haskell winnners, almost all of whom have been frontrunning or close-pressing types with demonstrable class, having won at least one of the first two Triple Crown races. Nobody comes off the pace and wins this race. You can go back as far as Alysheba's 1987 Haskell where they were forced to keep him within 4 lengths to have a realistic chance and was still beaten emphatically by the game Bet Twice, who I think everyone would agree was not the better colt. I would look at Sackleford closely, he made a tremendous KD post-parade impression, he's quite a specimen, but his trainer leaves a lot to be desired, in my humble opinion. I wouldn't let him within 100yds of a true champion. Still, I think Shackleford deserves to be favored, I expect he will be, and if not he would be worth a sensible wager.
Eddington, trained by (it'll come to me...) ummmm (his name is on the tip of my tongue) what's his name, was my Derby horse, but I'll tell you when this colt really shined - when he hit the turf and I'm going to be very curious to see how his offspring do on that surface, including this smooth mover, who undoubtedly soothed Baffter's wounded heart coming not long after his terrific 3yo filly lost a heartbreaker to It's Tricky. Is there anyone in the moden era of horseracing who has endured tougher beats than Baffert? Give the man credit, he's a testament to the kind of resolve it takes to not only survive the bad beats but to rise above them and risk it all again. I take my hat off to him.
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