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Shackleford Joins Preakness Winners With Strong Run As Pace-Setter

Shackleford looked like a spooked horse in the minutes leading up to the 2011 Preakness Stakes. As the field wandered out to the track, Shackleford tried to buck his rider, and was generally uneasy before heading to the starting gate. Even as he approached the gates, he had yet to calm down, and threw a fit as trainers began to load the horses ahead of the Preakness.

But it didn’t matter as Shackleford burst towards the rail and ran the same race he’s used to running. Immediately, he and Flashpoint, the two front-runners in the field, burst to the front of the pack and led the field out in a blistering 22.3 seconds for the first 1/4 mile. Of course, it didn’t hold and the pace ended up being one of the slower at the Preakness Stakes, but as Shackleford ran for the front, he had the field right where he wanted them.

At the final turn, the pack all made a move at once as horses were running five wide down the stretch. Animal Kingdom pulled the trigger at the top of the stretch, and burst out of the pack and toward Shackleford on the outside. On the inside, Astrology was hanging with Shackleford, but faded to finish third. And at the wire, Animal Kingdom simply ran out of room and was forced to settle for second place.

Here’s a look at the updated list of Preakness Winners

2011: Shackleford
2010: Lookin’ At Lucky
2009: Rachel Alexandria
2008: Big Brown
2007: Curlin
2006: Bernardini
2005: Afleet Alex

An impressive list, to be sure. Whether or not Shackleford runs at the Belmont Stakes, he’s already had an impressive start to the year. With a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby and Saturday’s win at the Preakness, Sackleford has shown he can run with the best of this year’s class of three-year-olds.

Stay with our Preakness Stakes StoryStream for more on the race as it becomes available. For all your horse racing needs, head over to And Down The Stretch They Come. Check out SB Nation's 2011 Preakness Stakes StoryStream for updates throughout the week.