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Shackleford (foaled February 25, 2008) is a retired chestnut[2] Thoroughbred race horse who is best known for winning the 2011 Preakness Stakes. He also finished second in the 2011 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and won both the Metropolitan and Clark Handicaps in 2012.

Shackleford (horse).jpg
Shackleford in the 2011 Preakness Stakes.
GrandsireStorm Cat
CountryUnited States
BreederMichael Lauffer and
W.D. Cubbedge
OwnerMichael Lauffer and
W.D. Cubbedge
TrainerDale Romans
Record20: 6-5-1
Major wins
Churchill Downs Stakes (2012)
Metropolitan Handicap (2012)
Clark Handicap (2012)
Triple Crown classic race wins:
Preakness Stakes (2011)

Shackleford was placed into training with Dale Romans, who raced the colt twice as a 2-year-old with one win. As a 3-year-old, he prepared for the Kentucky Derby in three races, including the Florida Derby, where he finished second. He finished fourth in the 2011 Kentucky Derby and then, at 13-1 odds, went on to win the Preakness Stakes. In doing so, Shackleford became the beneficiary of the largest payoff purse in Preakness history, winning not only the $600,000 winner's purse, but also $550,000 as the XpressBet Bonus winner. He was winless in his other starts that year but did finish second in both the Haskell Invitational and Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

He was retired in 2012 after winning the Metropolitan Mile in June and the Clark Handicap in November. He currently stands at Darby Dan Farm.


Shackleford was bred in Kentucky by Mike Lauffer & Bill Cubbedge. He was sired by Forestry out of the mare Oatsee, who was purchased in 2006 by Shackleford's breeders for $135,000. After giving birth to Shackleford, Oatsee was bred to A.P. Indy and sold, in foal, for $1.55 million. His pedigree traces to major sires of significance, including his grandsire Storm Cat and his damsire Unbridled.

He was named after Shackleford Banks, a barrier island system in North Carolina, home to a herd of feral Banker horses and a place often visited by his owners.[3]

Lauffer was previously a co-owner of the filly Rachel Alexandra, prior to her 2009 Preakness win.[3] Lauffer and Cubbedge put Shackleford up for sale as a yearling at the Keeneland auction, but when the bids failed to reach the reserve price of $275,000, they bought back the colt and kept him.[4]

2010: two-year-old seasonEdit

Shackleford is trained by Dale Romans. The colt's first race was on October 16, 2010, where he finished ninth in a 78-mile (1,400 m) $44,000 maiden special weight race at Keeneland Race Course on a synthetic surface. That race was won by eventual Blue Grass Stakes runner-up and Kentucky Derby starter Twinspired.[5] In November 2010, his second start, Shackleford won a $59,000 maiden special weight race at Churchill Downs on dirt at 78-mile (1,400 m), taking the rail down the stretch and prevailing over a field of 11.[6]

2011: three-year-old seasonEdit

Shackleford's first start as a three-year-old was an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on February 5, 2011, at 1 18-mile (1,800 m). He was ridden by his soon-to-be regular jockey, Jesus Castanon. In that race, he broke well and stalked the leader from second position, then put on a burst of speed and drew clear to win.[7][8] Romans next entered Shackleford in the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes on February 26 at Gulfstream Park. In that race, he was far back early and attempted to rally on the far turn but was hung out wide. He faltered in the stretch and finished fifth to Soldat.[9]

In April 2011, Shackleford was entered in the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Florida Derby, again at Gulfstream. He drew post number 5 and was listed at post time as a 60-1 longshot. Breaking slowly, he floated wide going into the club house turn. On that turn, he took over the lead from Arch Traveler and To Honor and Serve in a field that stretched 14 lengths back to Dialed In at the rear. Shackleford led down the back stretch and around the final turn, setting a 12-mile (800 m) fraction of 46.3 and a 34-mile (1,200 m) in 1:10.6. At the top of the lane, he was challenged by To Honor and Serve and repelled him. Three strides from the wire, he was caught by eventual Kentucky Derby co-favorite Dialed In and just missed the win, finishing second by a head.[10][11]

That second-place finish earned Shackleford a purse of $200,000 and enough graded earnings to enter the Kentucky Derby. In addition, by virtue of his start in the Fountain of Youth Stakes and his top-three finish in the Florida Derby, the colt became eligible for the XpressBet Consolation Bonus $550,000, part of the Preakness 5.5 Million Dollar Bonus program, if he won the Preakness Stakes. The bonus would pay $500,000 to the owner and $50,000 to the trainer of a Preakness winner who had finished in the top 3 of either the Florida Derby or the Santa Anita Derby and finished in one of a set of other listed races.[12]

Triple Crown racesEdit

Shackleford (left) leading Astrology in the stretch during the 2011 Preakness Stakes.

In the 2011 Kentucky Derby, Shackleford broke well and outran Comma To the Top for the lead passing the stands for the first time. He continued to lead around the clubhouse turn and into the stretch. With about 200 yards (183 m) to go, he was overtaken by the eventual winner, Animal Kingdom, who won by 2 3/4 lengths. Meanwhile, Shackleford, now in second place with about 50 yards (46 m) left to go, was caught by Nehro and Mucho Macho Man. He finished fourth by a length and a half in the field of 20.[13][14]

Two weeks later, at the 2011 Preakness Stakes, Shackleford went off at odds of 13-1. He broke from the 5 gate in a capacity field of 14. Passing the grandstand for the first time, Flashpoint took the lead with Shackleford at his flank in a fast 22-3/5 for the first 14-mile (402 m). Down the backstretch, the leaders slowed the pace, clocking 34-mile (1,200 m) in 1:12.01.[15] At the top of the home stretch, Shackleford took the lead. Astrology challenged him until the 200 yards (183 m) mark. Castanon then used the whip and Shackleford accelerated, holding off the strong late charge of Animal Kingdom to win by half a length.[13][15][16]

Bets on Shackleford paid $27.20, $10.20 and $6.80.[3] With that win, Shackleford became the beneficiary of the largest payoff purse in Preakness history. He won $600,000 for coming in first in the Preakness and $550,000 as the XpressBet Bonus winner for a total payout of $1,150,000.[13][12]

On June 11, 2011, the three year-old finished fifth in the Belmont Stakes after holding the lead for much of the race on a sloppy track. As the pacesetter, Shackleford led throughout most of the 1-1/2 mile race, which started with a moderate quarter-mile in :23.9, then slowed to a leisurely :49.0 for the opening half, 1:14.5 for three-quarters, and 1:39.9 for a mile. After leading the first nine furlongs, he faded in the stretch. Winner Ruler On Ice as well as Stay Thirsty, Brilliant Speed and Nehro passed him.[17]

Triple Crown summaryEdit

Shackleford's first- and fourth-place finishes in Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby respectively handed the Triple Crown's consolation title to Animal Kingdom. But Shackleford ended the trifecta of classic races with the a second-place finish in the Triple Crown Productions' Highest combined Triple Crown finish for the 2011 season. He was outfinished three year-old archrival Animal Kingdom by three points, 15 points to 12 points. Ruler on Ice finished third with ten points and Nehro finished fourth with six points. That finish put Shackleford squarely in contention (along with Animal Kingdom) for the "Eclipse Award" as the American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse.

Remainder of seasonEdit

On July 31, 2011, Shackleford lost by a head in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in New Jersey to the Bob Baffert-trained colt Coil, who had a six-pound weight break advantage. In that race, Shackleford stumbled at the start, then caught up down the backstretch. Around the final turn, he took the lead.[18][19] On August 27, 2011, Shackleford was eighth in the 2011 Travers Stakes, which was won by the Pletcher-trained colt Stay Thirsty.[20] On October 1, 2011, he finished second to Wilburn in the Indiana Derby.[21] On November 5, 2011, he ran second to Caleb's Posse in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.[22] On January 3, 2012 Shackleford was nominated as one of three finalists at the Eclipse Award for American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse,[23] but the award went to Animal Kingdom.[24]

2012: four-year-old seasonEdit

On February 11, Shackleford was seventh out of a field of eleven horses in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap run at Gulfstream Park. Ruler on Ice also ran and finished eighth.[25] On April 7, 2012, Shackleford ran in the $400,000 Grade 1 Carter Handicap at seven furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack. Longshot Jackson Bend won by a nose over Caleb's Posse, with Shackleford another length and a half back in third.[26]

Returning to Churchill Downs on Derby Day, May 5, 2012, Shackleford raced in the $400,000 Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes at seven furlongs on the dirt. In that race, he beat the favorite, American Champion Sprint Horse Amazombie, by a length. The two horses separated themselves from the rest of the field by five lengths with Shackleford on the inside. Just inside the sixteenth pole, he edged away and beat Amazombie under jockey Mike Smith by a length. Gantry was another five and a half lengths back in the third. The time was 1:21 on a fast track.[27]

On Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, Shackleford raced in what analysts called the deepest field of the year featuring favorites To Honor and Serve, Caleb's Posse, Jackson Bend and Caixa Eletronica in the $750,000 Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap (known by most as the Met Mile run at one mile on the dirt at Belmont Park). Shackleford had just enough left to withstand the furious late rush of Caleb's Posse, stopping the clock in 1:33 1/5 over the fast track to win by a nose. Favorite To Honor and Serve was another three and half lengths back in third. With this win, Shackleford turned the tables on old rival Caleb's Posse, who beat him in the 2011 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. The horses met each other four times, with each winning two races. However, Caleb's Posse retired soon after the Met Mile.[28]

On November 23, Shackleford ended his career with a victory in the Grade 1, $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs with Preakness jockey Castanon on board. He defeated Take Charge Indy by one length in the 1-1/8 mile race that he completed in a time of 1:49.12 seconds.[29][30]

Racing statisticsEdit

Date Age Distance Race Grade Track Surface Odds Time Field Finish Margin Jockey Trainer Owner Citation
October 16, 2010 2 7 furlongs
(78 mile or1,400 m)
Maiden Special Weight Maiden Keeneland Synthetic 17.90 N/A 12 9 N/A Robby Albarado Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [5]
November 27, 2010 2 7 furlongs
(78 mile or1,400 m)
Maiden Special Weight Maiden Churchill Downs Dirt 25.00 1:23.65 12 1 Head Frederic Lenclud Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [6]
February 5, 2011 3 9 furlongs
(1 18 miles or1,800 m)
Allowance None Gulfstream Park Dirt 4.60 1:50.04 6 1 2.25 Lengths Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Laufferl and Cubbedge [8]
February 26, 2011 3 9 furlongs
(1 18 miles or1,800 m)
Fountain of Youth Stakes 2 Gulfstream Park Dirt 17.00 N/A 8 5 N/A Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [9]
April 3, 2011 3 9 furlongs
(1 18 miles or1,800 m)
Florida Derby 1 Gulfstream Park Dirt 68.90 1:50.07 8 2 Head Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [11]
May 7, 2011 3 10 furlongs
(1 14 miles or2,000 m)
Kentucky Derby 1 Churchill Downs Dirt 23.10 N/A 19 4 N/A Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [14]
May 21, 2011 3 9 12 furlongs
(​1 316 miles or
1,900 m)
Preakness Stakes 1 Pimlico Race Course Dirt 12.60 1:56.47 14 1 0.5 Lengths Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [15]
June 11, 2011 3 12 furlongs
(​1 12 miles or
2,414 m)
Belmont Stakes 1 Belmont Park Dirt 6.30 N/A 12 5 N/A Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [17]
July 31, 2011 3 9 furlongs
(1 18 miles or1,800 m)
Haskell Invitational 1 Monmouth Park Dirt 1.50 1:48.20 8 2 Neck Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [18]
August 27, 2011 3 10 furlongs
(1 14 miles or2,000 m)
Travers Stakes 1 Saratoga Race Course Dirt 3.70 2:03.03 10 8 N/A Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [20]
October 1, 2011 3 8.5 furlongs
(1 116 miles or1,700 m)
Indiana Derby 2 Hoosier Park Dirt 1.10 1:43.60 7 2 0.75 Lengths Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [21]
November 5, 2011 3 8 furlongs
(1 mile or1,600 m)
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile 1 Churchill Downs Dirt 5.70 1:34.59 9 2 4 Lengths Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [22]
February 11, 2012 4 9 furlongs
(1 18 miles or1,800 m)
Donn Handicap 1 Gulfstream Park Dirt 3.00 N/A 11 7 N/A Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [25]
April 7, 2012 4 7 furlongs
(78 mile or1,400 m)
Carter Handicap 1 Aqueduct Racetrack Dirt 3.40 1:22.32 5 3 1.5 Lengths Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [26]
May 5, 2012 4 7 furlongs
(78 mile or1,400 m)
Churchill Downs Stakes 2 Churchill Downs Dirt 1.80 1:21.06 8 1 One Length Jesus Castanon Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [27]
May 28, 2012 4 8 furlongs
(1 mile or1,600 m)
Metropolitan Handicap 1 Belmont Park Dirt 3.00 1:33.30 6 1 Nose John Velazquez Dale Romans Lauffer and Cubbedge [27]

Stud careerEdit

Shackleford was retired to stud duty in November 2012, and was sent to the Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. He stood for an initial fee of $20,000.[31]

Shackleford sired his first winner on May 27, 2016 when juvenile colt Little Nappy won a 4 12 furlongs (3,000 ft; 910 m) maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park.[32]

Shackleford's best progeny to date include:[33]


Shackleford was sired by Forestry,[2][10] and out of Oatsee, a daughter of Unbridled. Oatsee was purchased in 2006 by Shackleford's owners for $135,000, and after giving birth to Shackleford, was bred to A.P. Indy and sold, in foal, for $1.55 million.[4]

Shackleford has champion breeding lines on both sides of the pedigree. Northern Dancer, the paternal great-grand sire of Forestry, was a four-time leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland, leading sire in North America (1971), and the leading broodmare sire in North America (1991). He also traces on his sire's side to fourth generation sires, Secretariat, His Majesty and Dr. Fager, who were all leading sires. Mr. Prospector, the paternal great-grandsire of his dam Oatsee, was a nine-time leading broodmare sire in North America twice the leading sire in North America. Shackleford's grandsire, Storm Cat, was a two-time leading sire in North America and his maternal grandsire is Unbridled, who sired multiple winners of various Triple Crown races.[34][35][36]

Shackleford inherits speed through his sire,[2] Forestry, who had his most notable wins at one-turn events: the Grade 1 78-mile (1,400 m) King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga and the Grade 2 1 116-mile (1,700 m) Dwyer Stakes at Belmont. Most of Forestry's notable progeny are similarly described, with a few exceptions.[2][37] In addition, Forestry's maternal grandsire was Pleasant Colony,[1] who won both the Kentucky Derby and, like Shackleford, the Preakness Stakes. Shackleford inherits stamina through his dam.[2] His breeding is considered most similar to Etched, another son of Forestry who is a two-time Grade 2 winner at 1 18-mile (1,800 m). Both inherited stamina from Unbridled-line mares, with Etched having Unbridled's Song as a grandsire and Shackleford's grandsire being Unbridled himself.[2] Oatsee has transmitted Unbridled's stamina, producing six racing foals of whom four have been winners including Lady Joanne, who won the Alabama Stakes and Baghdaria, winner of the Silverbulletday Stakes, Grade 3 Iowa Oaks and G3 Indiana Oaks.[2][10] Unbridled was a 1 14-mile (2,000 m) specialist who won both the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders' Cup Classic in 1990. Unbridled has sired progeny who separately won each of the Triple Crown races, including Grindstone, Red Bullet, and Empire Maker,[2] achieving the feat only three years after his grandsire Mr. Prospector did with Fusaichi Pegasus, Tank's Prospect and Conquistador Cielo. Shackleford's pedigree chart is as follows:[1]

Pedigree of Shackleford
B. 1996
Storm Cat (LS-2)
Storm Bird
Northern Dancer (LS-1, LBS-1, LSUK-4) 1961
South Ocean 1967
Secretariat (LBS-1) 1970
Crimson Saint 1969
Shared Interest
Pleasant Colony
His Majesty (LS-1) 1968
Sun Colony 1968
Dr. Fager (LS-1) 1964
Bold Sequence 1961
Ch. 1997
Mr. Prospector (LS-2, LBS-9) 1970
Killaloe 1970
Gana Facil
Le Fabuleux 1961
Charedi 1976
With Every Wish
Lear Fan
Roberto 1969
Wac 1969
Hold Your Peace 1969
Taminette 1973


  1. ^ a b c "Thoroughbred Database: Shackleford". Select Web Ventures, LLC. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Pedigree". Churchill Downs Incorporated. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Mihoces, Gary (May 21, 2011). "Shackleford holds off Animal Kingdom to win Preakness". USA Today. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Mitchell, Eric (May 21, 2011). "Shackleford Tames Animal Kingdom in Preakness". The Blood Horse online edition. Retrieved May 22, 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  5. ^ a b "Keeneland-October 16, 2010- Race 10". Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Churchill Downs- November 27, 2010- Race 4". Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  7. ^ Daily Racing Form Past Performances printed May 20, 2011 for The Preakness Stakes.
  8. ^ a b "Gulfstream Park- February 5, 2011- Race 3". Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Gulfstream Park- February 26, 2011- Race 10". Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c "#750 Shackleford 2008" (PDF). Churchill Downs Incorporated. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Gulfstream Park- April 3, 2011- Race 10". Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  12. ^ a b "Official Rules of the 2011 XpressBet .55 Consolation Bonus Program" (PDF). MI Developments Inc. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
  13. ^ a b c "Shackleford wins Preakness". ESPN. May 21, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
  14. ^ a b "Churchill Downs- May 7, 2011- Race 11". Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  15. ^ a b c "Pimlico- May 21, 2011- Race 12". Retrieved August 7, 2011.
  16. ^ Telias, Brad (May 21, 2011). "When the dirt settled, Shackleford was a smidge better than Animal Kingdom". Sporting News. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
  17. ^ a b "Belmont Park- June 11, 2011- Race 11". Retrieved June 12, 2011.
  18. ^ a b "Monmouth Park- July 31, 2011- Race 12". Retrieved July 31, 2011.
  19. ^ "Coil Unwinds Knockout Punch in Haskell". August 1, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  20. ^ a b "Saratoga- August 27, 2011- Race 12" (PDF). Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  21. ^ a b "Hoosier Park-October 1, 2011- Race 12" (PDF). Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  22. ^ a b "Churchill Downs- November 5, 2011- Race 7" (PDF). Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  23. ^ "Eclipse Awards Finalists Named". The New York Times. January 5, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  24. ^ Harris, Beth (January 17, 2012). "Havre de Grace is third consecutive female horse of the year". USA Today. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  25. ^ a b Staff. "Gulfstream Park- February 11, 2012- Race 10" (PDF). Equibase. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  26. ^ a b Staff. "Aqueduct- April 7, 2012- Race 10" (PDF). Equibase. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  27. ^ a b c Staff. "Churchill Downs- May 5- Race 7". Equibase. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
  28. ^ "Shackleford hangs on to win Met Mile". ESPN. May 28, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  29. ^ Angst, Frank (November 25, 2012). "Shakleford goes out on top". ESPN. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  30. ^ "Shackleford a winner in final race". FOX Sports. November 24, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  31. ^ Staff. "Newly retired G1 winners Shackleford, Jersey Town arrive at Darby Dan". Darby Dan Farm. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  32. ^ "Shackleford sires first winner in Gulfstream MdSpWt". Darby Dan. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  33. ^ "Shackleford on Stallion Register Online". Stallion Register Online. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  34. ^ "Leading Sires of the U.S.A." Thoroughbred Heritage. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  35. ^ "Leading Sires of Great Britain and Ireland". Thoroughbred Heritage. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  36. ^ "Leading Broodmare Sires of the U.S.A." Thoroughbred Heritage. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  37. ^ Such progeny include Discreet Cat, Diplomat Lady, Forest Danger, Smokey Glacken and Carolyn's Cat"#750 Shackleford 2008" (PDF). Churchill Downs Incorporated. Retrieved May 22, 2011.

External linksEdit