Shackleford Wins The Preakness
The Preakness Stakes is the second leg to the Triple Crown, of which the Kentucky Derby was captured by Animal Kingdom this year. There were high hopes for Animal Kingdom, as each year the Triple Crown seems to elude the horses. And this year was no different. Even though Animal Kingdom put up a determined and courageous fight, Shackleford was able to hold on and ward off Animal Kingdom just long enough to win the 2011 Preakness Stakes, putting the Triple Crown Championship on the shelf until next year.
This year's Preakness Stakes, which was run for 136th time, drew a crowd of more than a hundred thousand spectators, which is a record number for the event. Since the inauguration of the Triple Crown in the year 1919, only eleven horses have been able to capture the prestigious Triple Crown. Many fans were hoping that Animal Kingdom could produce another spectacular victory and hopefully open the possibility of a Triple Crown winner.
Shackleford and Flashpoint set a very fast pace early on in the race, and at the start, Animal Kingdom was an entire nineteen lengths behind the race leaders. He did, however, manage to work his way up to the front of the field and challenge Shackleford, but Shackleford was able to just push past when it meant the most and rip the Preakness Stakes out from underneath Animal Kingdom. Graham Motion, trainer for Animal Kingdom, said that he was disappointed that Animal Kingdom had to settle for a close second place, but commented that his horse ran a huge race and that if it was not the Preakness Stakes, any trainer would be proud at such a wonderful performance. Motion is still very proud of his horse. Astrology crossed the finish line in third place.
It was a very emotional victory for jockey Jesus Castanon, who comes from a family in Mexico that owned their own racehorses and who’s father passed away last year. He commented that as they came into the final stretch he could feel his horse just get bigger, and knew he had enough left to deliver a victorious finish. Shackleford is trained by Dale Romans, and there is a good chance that Shackleford and Animal Kingdom could still meet up again in the Belmont Stakes, which will take place on 11 June 2011.