The 2011 Preakness Stakes busted up our hopes of a Triple Crown winner at the Belmont Stakes as Shackleford pulled off the upset to defeat Animal Kingdom down the stretch. The victory removed a lot of the drama from the New York race in three weeks. However, while many casual fans might be prepared to move on from and ignore the race, we could have a fun little battle up there.
As previously discussed, the biggest story to create some semblance of drama is whether we'll get a rematch of the Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom, and the Preakness winner, Shackleford. Immediately following the race, Shackleford's trainer made some hints but was otherwise coy about the chances his horse would make the race. Animal Kingdom's horse was even less certain of making Belmont.
In the two days since the race, it sounds like the odds for Shackleford racing in three weeks have increased to better than 50-50 that he'll run:
"I thought last night of going onto Belmont right away," said the 44-year-old Louisville native. "But I wanted to send him back to Kentucky so we'll get him with his regular team, go over him, watch him train a couple days and then make the decision. Ultimately it will be Mike's (Lauffer) call, but he'll let me have a lot of input, I'm sure. If he trains like he did going into the Derby, I don't know why we would pass. I think it's better than 50-50."
Animal Kingdom's trainer, Graham Motion, indicated he was likely going to wait a week before deciding on Belmont:
"I think we've got to give him a week," Motion said. "Barry and I would both love to do the Belmont, but we've got to give him a week to see how he bounces out of this. He's had two very tough races now and he's a lightly raced, relatively inexperienced horse. We just want to give him a chance to give us a chance to evaluate him to see how he's doing. But we would love to do it."
If both horses raced at the 2011 Belmont Stakes, it would be the first time since 2005 that a Preakness winner squared off against a Derby winner.
In case you missed it over the weekend, here are the complete race results:
- Animal Kingdom
- Dialed In
- Dance City
- Mucho Macho Man
- King Congie
- Mr. Commons
- Isn't He Perfect
- Concealed Identity
- Norman Asbjornson
- Stay Away
- Midnight Interlude