is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Derby Wildcard SHACKLEFORD Is No Wild Horse

One of the Wild Horses of Shackleford
(SHACKLEFORD the Thoroughbred is chestnut
with a white marking on his forehead, too, but he doesn't
have the longhair mane :)
With two horses dropping out of contention today, SHACKLEFORD is now in the running for the Kentucky Derby.  This son of FORESTRY, out of the UNBRIDLED mare OATSEE was bought at Keeneland as a yearling for $275,000; and since he has earned a total of $271,666 for owners Michael Lauffer and W.D. Cubbedge, he's impossible to ignore as a Derby contender.  In my view, anytime a horse wins enough to justify his purchase price, he is a possibility to win the big race.  Experts say he's not bred for long distance racing, but I say he's earned his keep, is familiar with running in the mud and he likes to run ahead of the pack.  He was ahead during most of the Grade I Florida Derby a few weeks ago, losing in the closing furlong to DIALED IN.  He was 68 to 1 then, and will most likely be a longshot for the Run for The Roses. 
Although Calvin Borel still has yet to find a ride for this
year's Kentucky Derby,
SHACKLEFORD will most likely be ridden
by jockey Jesus Lopez Castanon

Recently he worked out at a sloppy Churchill track -- (duh...all of Kentucky is soaking wet as I type as a result of weeks of rain) -- and was clocked in 6 furlongs at 1:14. Trainer Dale Romans is confident that his colt has a better than average chance of making his name known as a winner of classic races.  

An amusing sidebar to all the Derby rants and raves is a post about why anyone would name a horse SHACKLEFORD.  One blogger decided that he was named after alleged NC State point-shaver George Shackleford, who once uttered this quote, referring to his shooting prowess: "Left hand, right hand, it doesn't matter.  I'm amphibious."  Well, if SHACKLEFORD is amphibious, he'll do well on the first Saturday in May at the Louisville oval, coz even if the sun shines bright here for the next week or so, it's hard to imagine the track will be anything but less than dry. 

Why I like this horse:  He's a big chestnut colt.  Yeah, I bet on horses for reasons like that ... and as every expert knows, the folks who wager on colors and names are the same who cash the most tickets come Derby day.  

Oh, and his name -- SHACKLEFORD -- I love it because there is a barrier island in the Outer Banks where wild horses run. Legend has it they swam to shore from sinking Spanish ships (one website about them even contains a Christopher Columbus log entry that mentions stallions and broodmares) over 400 years ago, but nobody knows for sure.  They're called the Wild Horses of Shackleford.  Is that not the cutest story in the world? 

Whatever the reason for naming him, whatever his faults may be, I like it that he's a longshot, too, because much of the time, a longshot wins the garland of roses. 

see y'all at the Derby,

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