Mon. Mar 1st, 2021

Shackleford, pace setter in the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, held off Derby winner and 5-2 favorite Animal Kingdom to win the $1 million Preakness Stakes by three-quarters of a length, at 12-1. The time for the 1 1/16-mile race was 1:56.4. Astrology placed third. Dialed In, beaten favorite in the Kentucky Derby, finished fourth.

“I knew that (Animal Kingdom) was the only horse able to come get me,” said Shackleford’s rider, Jesus Castanon. But my horse was able to hold him off.”

“He ran a huge race, but it looked like he needed another sixteenth of a mile,” said Animal Kingdom’s trainer, Graham Motion, referring to the one-sixteenth of a mile difference between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

Shackleford’s trainer, Dale Romans, and Animal Kingdom’s rider, John Valezquez, each had concerns as the leaders approached the quarter pole.

“I worried whether he could hang on to the fast pace,” said Romans of Shackleford, who got nailed by a head, at 60-1, by Dialed In, in the stretch of the Florida Derby.

“He didn’t leave the gate very good today,” said Valezquez of Animal Kingdom. “But at the quarter pole, I thought he had a chance. It was just a little too late.”

Shackleford, by Forestry, was bred by his owners Michael Lauffer and W.D. Cubbedge. Lauffer paid $500,000 in 2008 for 2-year-old Rachel Alexander, who would win the 2009 Preakness for Jess Jackson, after Jackson paid Lauffer and his partner a reported $10 million for the mare.