Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

25 May 2011

Shackleford's Unbelievable Win

How did this colt win the Preakness? It was an unbelievable win that goes against every convention and every canard of reason. Last out in the derby he faced a tepid pace and faded like he did not have the requisite courage to win a classic. Horses that fade in the lane usually fade in the lane every time. Now in the Preakness he faced a stiffer pace which makes fading in the lane an absolute near certainty.

The real mind bender was the looks of this colt before the race. Shackleford was a complete washed out mess. When he loaded I said to myself "no way he wins". Horses that lose their composure and wash that badly do not win races; especially route races. Not only did the disheveled Shackleford win a graded stakes route race- he won a classic after fading in a similar race just two weeks earlier. It is a result that boggles the mind in every way. He must of annexed the efforts of three races and concentrated the exertions into his Preakness run. If any horse was ever going to bounce next out- it is Shackleford.


Ian Lozada said...

Greg, I'm sorry, but your comments smack of not having done your homework and just going with your first impressions.

Churchill's track super has, for the second major race day in a row, changed the track profile to benefit the favorite. Normally, CD, after prolonged periods of rain, becomes a track with an inside bias, which is a large part of the Calvin Borel myth. However, first for Zenyatta and now for Dialed In, two horses who prefer to close down the center of the track, the track super created a situation where the outside was the good path, and the inside was very cuppy and tiring. The inside 5 paths or so were much, much slower than usual on Derby Day, to the point that the slow fractions Shackleford set in the Derby were as tiring as a 46 and 4 half.

You've also not realized that Shackleford's behavior was consistent with the way he looked before the Florida Derby, and also, Apart was sweating just as heavily at the neck before he won the Schaefer earlier on the card.

Finally, you probably hadn't looked too much at Shackleford's family. Yes, he's by Forestry, a sprint stallion. Orientate is another sire you'd associate with sprinters, right? Well, they sent Shack's dam, Oatsee (Unbridled), to Orientate, and the resulting foal won the G1 Alabama at 10 furlongs. Another sibling, Baghdaria (Royal Academy) won multiple graded races at 9f. Clearly, Oatsee is imparting quite a bit of stamina to her offspring.

Don't be so quick to dismiss Shackleford next out-- Romans does his best work with layoffs between 11 and 29 days, and the Belmont is a race that over the years has produced most of its winners from either the Wire or Pressing positions.

By the way, with one exception, the Eclipse for best 3yo male has gone to the Preakness winner every year since 2001. The lone exception was when a male didn't win the Preakness, and the Preakness winner was Horse of the Year instead.

Anonymous said...

Well said Ian. Shack's pre-race appearance was quite normal.