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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What to do with Shack?

Photo Credit: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
So what is a horseplayer to do with the Shack Man?

The Preakness winner is quite the physical specimen and if I saw him in the paddock before the Derby I think I would have dropped a few bucks on him just on appearance.

Ironically he was washed out in the Preakness post parade but still romped home with a half-length victory over the Derby champ.

Now we move on to Belmont Park and the Test of the Champion and the daunting mile and a half distance.

Here's what's going through my noggin.....

- He couldn't hang on to the lead with soft fractions in the ten furlong Derby, wouldn't that suggest twelve furlongs isn't his gig?

- If not for a difficult start by Animal Kingdom and taking dirt in the face for the first time, would he have caught him at Pimlico?  Granted, I give you Shack bobbled at the gate also may equalize this argument.

- Is the three races in five weeks and a very tough Florida Derby duel too much for trainer Dale Romans' star colt?

- In a Troy Record article analyzing Thoro-Graph trends the author wrote: "last time he had 21 days between races after a new top, Shackleford bounced to the moon." Is he a prime bounce candidate?

- It's been well documented that Shack wouldn't let AK by him during the gallop out after the Preakness wire, does this really carry out any weight for a handicapper?

- Will Shack's outside #12 post cause him to exert early energy to get to a better position before the clubhouse turn? The race is 12 furlongs, does this really matter?

- Jockey Jesus Castanon does not have a mount on the undercard and is not familiar with Belmont where the half mile pole is where the three-eighths pole is at most North American tracks (at the far turn). Gotta know yo' poles, no?

- Shaq retired this week.....omen?

- Shake Shack owner is giving away free shake with a Shack win in the Belmont...can he really go two for two with this promotion?

- My gut tells me to toss him....this time I'm going with my gut.  What do you think?

Full disclosure: I really love this horse....just not Saturday.

1 Comment:

Brian Appleton said...

I have to agree sadly, Shackelford is a favorite of mine but I don't think he's going to be able to pull it off Saturday unless he's able to seriously slow down the pace and ration his speed all the way. He is very tough though and has proved his class multiple times now.
I don't think the #12 post will be a big deal for him since he's pretty much the lone speed and will be the only one gunning for the lead. He might just get a clear trip over to the rail before they make the turn and save some ground.


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