Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Newcomers Series: Shackleford

Breeders' Cup 2011 (Melissa Bauer-Herzog)
One of the most interesting stallion prospects to hit the shed in 2013 is 2011 Preakness (gr. I) winner Shackleford. The 4-year-old was joined in his 4-year-old year by the two other 2011 Triple Crown race winners for this year’s campaign but he proved to come back better than the other two, with Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Animal Kingdom only making two starts due to injury and Belmont (gr. I) winner Ruler On Ice only making four starts this year with no wins.

Shackleford is an interesting entry in the breeding shed next year, as the horse could be defined as an iron horse by today’s standards. The flashy chestnut made 20 starts without injury, racing pretty consistently throughout his career with breaks longer than a month and a half after the start of his 3-year-old campaign only coming three times during his campaign, with one of those coming during the winter of last year between the Breeders’ Cup and Donn Handicap (gr. I). His one racing weakness was his insistence that he had to be on the lead to be competitive but when it comes to a durable racehorse, Shackleford is the perfect example.

Shackleford’s versatile race record also brings an interesting mix to the table. He won his second race, a maiden at seven furlongs on the dirt then followed that up with a 2 1/4 length win over 1 1/8 miles. Overall, Shackleford won at four different distances ranging from sprints to short routes.

The end of the Clark Handicap (Melissa Bauer-Herzog)
The fan favorite ended his career by winning the Clark Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles for a total of three Grade 1 victories and a Grade 2 victory. In all, Shackleford hit the board 12 times in 20 starts with six wins for $3,090,101 in earnings. His on-the-board finishes include seconds in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I), the Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) and the Florida Derby (gr. I) among other graded races.

Shackleford is by the Grade 1 winner Forestry (Storm Cat), who also won from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. Out of his 11 starts, Forestry was the winner in seven of them, including three stakes races. Forestry is the sire of over 40 stakes winners and 15 graded stakes winners, including Discreet Cat (Cigar Mile (gr. I) winner, third in 2007 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile) and Smokey Glacken.

Shackleford’s dam may be the best broodmare in America at the moment and made provide a stronger selling point than his paternal side. Oatsee (Unbridled) was the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Inc.’s Broodmare of the Year in 2011. The 15-year-old mare only won two races in 21 starts with nine other on-the-board finishes in allowance company but her value in the shed has more than made up for her lack of stakes placings.

Oatsee has had nine foals of racing age according to Equibase with a 2012 filly by Indian Charlie named Play Pretty born in March. Of her nine racing age foals, seven have started and six have broken their maiden. Five of her winners have gone on win stakes and four have won graded stakes. Those four horses also have four Grade 1 wins, including an Alabama (gr. I) win with Lady Joanne (Orientate) and a Preakness (gr. I) win with Shackleford. In 2012, Oatsee’s foals have won seven stakes between three different racers.

Oatsee has three grandfoals of racing age on the track with four 2-year-olds. Two of the racing age foals have reached the track (both 2-year-olds) but none have won. Shackleford is Oatsee’s oldest son and is the first to hit the shed.

Oatsee’s dam is the four-time winner With Every Wish (Lear Fan).  With Every Wish raced 34 times, hitting the board in 17 of her starts for $110,143 in earnings. Her two stakes placings came in the Valnor Handicap and Indian Maid Handicap, both at Hawthorne.

With Every Wish had nine foals including two full siblings to Oatsee. Eight of Wish Every Wish’s foals made at least one start with five breaking their maidens. With Every Wish had two colts that remained intact throughout their careers and her third oldest foal, a full brother to Oatsee named Gazebo is currently standing in Wisconsin according to the Bloodhorse Stallion Directory.

Other than Oatsee’s foals, With Every Wish’s daughters have produced 11 foals of racing age with eight making it to the track and three breaking their maidens. None of those horses have any foals of racing age.

2012 Clark Handicap (Melissa Bauer-Herzog)
Interestingly enough, Shackleford’s pedigree has no names appearing twice in the first four generations. Dr. Fager is the first to appear twice in the pedigree with the stallion appearing in the fourth generation through Forestry’s granddam Surgery and in the fifth generation through Unbridled’s granddam Killaloe. One has to look back to the fifth generation to see any more doubling of names with Bold Ruler and In Reality both appearing twice in that generation.

Shackleford is standing for $20,000 in 2013, which is in the middle of market for first year stallions. His price is comparable to other first year stallions such as Creative Cause ($15,000), Tapizar ($15,000), The Factor ($15,000) and Stay Thirsty ($20,000).

Shackleford joins Dialed In ($7,500) and Jersey Town ($10,000) as freshmen at Darby Dan farm in Lexington, Kentucky.

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