After pressing a fast early pace, Shackleford took the lead into the homestretch and had just enough energy in reserve to hold off a charging Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom by a half-length to capture Saturday’s $1 million Preakness Stakes.
The running of the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown was a fitting conclusion to a 13-race program that attracted 107, 398 to Pimlico Race Course and generated an all-sources handle of $76,376, 689.
The attendance was the seventh largest in Preakness history. The handle ranked as the seventh highest for Pimlico’s signature day.
Trained by Dale Romans, Shackleford took down the $600,000 winner’s purse, as well a bonus of $550,000, courtesy of the Preakness 5.5, an incentive program inaugurated this year by MI Developments and connected to his participation in the major 3-year-old stakes at Pimlico’s sister track, Gulfstream Park.
Fourth in the Kentucky Derby just two weeks ago after setting a moderate pace, the 12-1 long shot improved enough off that effort to claim victory under Jesus Castanon in the Preakness and dash Animal Kingdom’s Triple Crown hopes.
The Kentucky Derby winner, who was favored at 2-1, rallied from next to last in the 14-horse field to finish second as the winner claimed victory in the 1 3/16-mile spring classic in 1:56.47. Astrology finished third, 1 ¼ lengths behind Animal Kingdom and 2 ½ lengths behind Dialed, who closed from last to fourth.
The Nick Zito-trained Dialed In, who had won the Holy Bull (G3) and Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream before finishing eighth in the Kentucky Derby, missed out in collecting a $5.5 million Preakness bonus by coming up well short of victory.
The complete order of finish was: Shackleford, Animal Kingdom, Astrology, Dialed In, Dance City, Mucho Macho Man, King Congie, Mr. Commons, Isn’t He Perfect, Concealed Identity, Norman Asbjornson, Sway Away, Midnight Interlude and Flashpoint.
Payoffs for the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes: Shackleford, $27.20, $10.20, $6.80; Animal Kingdom, $4.20, $3.60; Astrology $8. Exacta 5-11 $114.80; Trifecta 5-11-1 $1401.80; Superfecta 5-11-1-10 $310