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May 27, 2011

Shackleford gains in Three-Year-Old Poll


New York, NY (Sports Network) - Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford moved into second-place behind Kentucky Derby champ Animal Kingdom in the current NTRA Three-Year-Old Poll. Both colts are also in the top 10 of the National Thoroughbred Poll.

Animal Kingdom, second in the Preakness, sits atop the poll for three-year- olds for the third straight week. Owned by Team Valor, the colt received 16 of 18 first-place votes for 177 points.

Trainer Graham Motion and Team Valor president Barry Irwin will wait on a decision about running the horse in the Belmont Stakes.

"I think we've got to give him a week," Motion said. "Barry and I would both love to do the Belmont, but we've got to give him a week to see how he bounces out of this. He's had two very tough races now and he's a lightly raced, relatively inexperienced horse. We just want to give him a chance to give us a chance to evaluate him to see how he's doing. But we would love to do it."

Shackleford, trained by Dale Romans, got the other two top votes and jumped from fourth to second with 160 points.

"I thought last night of going onto Belmont right away," Romans said Sunday morning. "But I wanted to send him back to Kentucky so we'll get him with his regular team, go over him, watch him train a couple days and then make the decision. Ultimately it will be Mike's (Lauffer) call, but he'll let me have a lot of input, I'm sure. If he trains like he did going into the Derby, I don't know why we would pass. I think it's better than 50-50."

The Belmont Stakes is Saturday, June 11 at Belmont Park

Kentucky Derby runner-up Nehro fell one spot to third with 126 points. He is followed by Mucho Macho Man (87), Astrology (80), Dialed In (70), Plum Pretty (69), Toby's Corner (47), Uncle Mo (40) and Master of Hounds (37).

Four-year-old filly Havre de Grace firmly holds on to the top spot in the National Thoroughbred Poll. Undefeated in both starts this year, the filly received seven first-place votes and 130 points.

Four-year-old gelding Game On Dude is second with one top vote and 92 points.

Animal Kingdom remains in third with a single first-place vote and 89 points.

Following her season opening win in Europe, Goldikova advanced from eighth to fourth with six first-place votes and 74 points. Rounding out the top 10 are Duke of Mischief (73), Get Stormy (68), Blind Luck (59), First Dude (56), Shackleford (53) and Paddy O'Prado (52).

First Dude picked up the other two first-place votes.

Paddy O'Prado, also trained by Dale Romans, was retired Monday after suffering an injury in Saturday's Dixie Stakes, which he won.

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