NEW YORK (AP) — The rubber match is set: Preakness winner Shackleford is ready to take on Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom in next Saturday's $1 million Belmont Stakes.
Shackleford passed his final test Saturday morning with a sharp five-furlong workout at Belmont Park. Trainer Dale Romans says as long as the colt comes out of the work in good shape, "he will run" in the final leg of the Triple Crown.
It'll be the first time the Derby and Preakness winners hook up in the Belmont since 2005, when Preakness winner Afleet Alex beat Derby winner Giacomo.
Shackleford, with exercise rider Tammy Fox aboard, covered five furlongs in 1:00.30.
Entries and post positions will be drawn Wednesday. A field of 13 is shaping up for the 1½-mile race.