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May 27, 2011

Shackleford edges Animal Kingdom to win Preakness


Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Shackleford, ridden by Jesus Castanon, held off Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom down the stretch to win Saturday's 136th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. The three-year-old colt covered the 1 3/16-miles in 1:56.47 on a fast track.

The win by Shackleford, however, extends the streak without a Triple Crown champion to 33 years since Affirmed was the last to accomplish the feat in 1978. The final leg of the Triple Crown series will be the $1 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 11 at Belmont Park.

Trained by Dale Romans, Shackleford, along with Flashpoint, set the pace in the 14-horse field. Running third was Midnight Interlude with Dance City close behind. Animal Kingdom, the 2-1 favorite, and 4-1 second choice Dialed In were racing 13th and 14th.

Shackleford, who was a bit skittish before the race, still had the lead on the final turn as Astrology moved into second with Dance City third. Animal Kingdom and Dialed In were both advancing from the back of the field.

At the top of the stretch Shackleford, sent off at 12-1, was alone on the lead as the favorite was gaining down the middle of the track. Astrology was third and Dialed In continued to gain ground.

At the wire Shackleford was a half-length ahead of Animal Kingdom with Astrology finishing third and Dialed In fourth. Completing the order of finish were Dance City, Mucho Macho Man, King Congie, Mr. Commons, Isn't He Perfect, Concealed Identity, Norman Asbjornson, Sway Away, Midnight Interlude and Flashpoint.

"He came out of the Derby like he moved forward," Romans noted about the new Preakness champ. "He's been bouncing around, eating good, bucking and playing. This is the most fun event (Preakness Stakes) in horse racing for us. They treat you so well, so we wanted to make sure we came back."

Owned by Michael Lauffer and W.D. Cubbedge, Shackleford earns $600,000 with the victory and an additional $550,000 for participating in the Fountain of Youth Stakes and placing in the Florida Derby where he was second to Dialed In. The owners received $500,000 and $50,000 goes to Romans.

It was the first Preakness victory for the owners, trainer and jockey.

Shackleford has won three of seven career starts and with all the prize money from the Preakness has banked $1,521,666.

Two weeks ago in the Kentucky Derby, the chestnut colt finished fourth after setting most of the pace. He set the pace in the Florida Derby when he finished just a head behind Dialed In and was a distant fifth to Soldat in the Fountain of Youth.

Shackleford returned $27.20, $10.20 and $6.80. Animal Kingdom paid $4.20 and $3.60, and Astrology paid $8.00 to show.

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