- Israel says it’s downed drone along southern coast
- Despite offensive, Gaza rockets still hit Israel
- Extra-time goal gives Germany World Cup title over Argentina
- Strong quake hits Japan, triggering tsunami
- Sniper heaven: Pentagon’s self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Violent gang taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Medicaid enrollment continues to soar under Obamacare, administration says
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: ‘We cannot afford to wait on Congress’ for immigration
- White House urges GOP to act ‘urgently’ on $3.7 billion request for illegal immigrants
- Politicians, criminals using ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ law EU courts forced upon Google
Belmont Stakes: Will Shackleford be hurt by race’s distance?
Question of the Day
NEW YORK — Talk about a tough crowd.
Dissed by the owner of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom one day, dismissed as the third betting choice for the Belmont Stakes another, Preakness winner Shackleford still is considered an underdog for Saturday’s final leg of the Triple Crown.
What’s trainer Dale Romans to think about his long, lanky 3-year-old colt?
“He’s not getting the respect he deserves,” Romans said Thursday at Belmont Park. “Let’s see what happens after the race.”
Shackleford has been getting the cold shoulder for months, having been sent off at odds of 68-1, 23-1 and 12-1 in his past three races.
“Every race he’s run in he’s been a long shot, and he’s run well in every one of them,” Romans said of Shackleford’s starts since a fifth-place finish in the Fountain of Youth on Feb. 26. “And he’s improved with every race.”
After Wednesday’s post position draw, when Shackleford landed the outside No. 12 gate, more doubters emerged.
“I would not have wanted to be in 1 or 12,” Animal Kingdom’s trainer Graham Motion said. “The 12 is right by the grandstand. I’m happy he is in the 12. It will make him work a little bit.”
To that, Romans replied: “He’ll be the last one in and the first one out. He’s fast enough that he’ll be able to break and clear everyone anyway.”
At 1 1/2 miles, the Belmont is the longest and most grueling test a 3-year-old will face. It’s a distance horses have yet to run, and are unlikely to do so again. Pedigree reveals which horses are bred for distance, and that’s likely why Animal Kingdom’s owner Barry Irwin is ignoring Shackleford — the son of a sire known for producing sprinters.
“I can’t see a horse by Forestry going a mile-and-a-half,” Irwin said after volunteering that he wasn’t worried about Shackleford.
That’s OK with Romans. Pedigree notwithstanding, he’s figuring Shackleford will set a moderate pace and then try to hold off his 11 rivals. The plan nearly worked in the Derby, and it worked to perfection in the Preakness.
By Robert N. Tracci
Congress must use its appropriations power to secure the border
- DOJ investigates Nebraska parade float critical of Obama
- Agency scrubs Malia Obama photos at White House's request: report
- A 'new Cold War': China's top paper warns of 'slippery slope' towards conflict with U.S.
- Violent gang MS-13 taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Emeryville, Calif., police chief: Guns aren't for defense
- New York City creates ID card so 500K illegal immigrants can get services
- Pentagon's self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- CURL: The hypocrisy of Obama's 15-day Vineyard vacation
- Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi formerly a U.S. captive
- Germany wins World Cup title on Mario Goetze goal in extra time
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs