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Shackleford - Preakness Stakes (Gr. I) at Pimlico Raceocourse 5/21/11

Shackleford: Metropolitan Handicap winner will stand at Darby Dan Farm in Kentucky next year

  PICTURE: Jessie Holmes/EquiSport photos  

Bargain Irish-bred strikes in Gamely Stakes

Hollywood Park: Gamely Stakes (Grade 1), 1m1f, 3yo+ f

BELLE ROYALE (4 f Val Royal - Kahyasi Moll by Brief Truce)

Bred by DXB Bloodstock Ltd in Ireland

BARGAIN buy Belle Royale maintained the fine year enjoyed by her late sire Val Royal in the US when running down fellow Irish-bred Quiet Oasis to take the Gamely Stakes.

The stallion, who died at the National Stud in 2008, is also the sire of Phil Cunningham's Slim Shadey, who won the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes in February and recently ran second in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.

Belle Royale becomes the fourth Group 1 winner by Val Royal following the Anglo-Irish 2,000 Guineas hero Cockney Rebel and the Argentinian-bred pair Busy Guy and Quick Val. By Royal Academy, French-bred Val Royal enjoyed his finest moment in the US when landing the 2001 Breeders' Cup Mile.

The filly was bought for just 800gns at the 2009 DBS October Sale by Mark Brisbourne, who sent her out to win seven races. She is a half-sister to two minor Flat winners and out of an unplaced half-sister to two hurdles winners.

Runner-up Quiet Oasis narrowly failed to become the tenth Group/Grade 1 winner by Juddmonte's Oasis Dream, who provided the first and third, Power and Reply, in Saturday's Irish 1,000 Guineas. Bred by Breeding Capital plc and Swettenham Stud, she is a sister to Group 3 winner Young Pretender and out of the Sunday Silence mare Silent Heir.

Belmont: Metropolitan Handicap (Grade 1), 1m, dirt, 3yo

SHACKLEFORD (4 c Forestry - Oatsee by Unbridled)

Bred by Michael Lauffer & W D Cubbedge in US

SHACKLEFORD, who will be a new recruit to Darby Dan Farm's roster next season, added another major triumph to his impressive resume on Monday with a gutsy victory over Caleb's Posse in a thrilling renewal of the Metropolitan Handicap.

The son of Forestry led every step of the way under John Velazquez and held off the dangerous challenge of closer Caleb's Posse to win by a nose. Favourite To Honor And Serve finished three lengths back in third.

Shackleford is one of four Grade 1 winners by the 1999 Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes hero Forestry, who stands for $12,500 at Taylor Made Farm in Kentucky. The 16-year-old son of Storm Cat has endured a turbulent stud career to date, with his fee rising from $50,000 to a peak of $125,000 in 2007 before its drop to its current level.

Unsold for $275,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September Sale, Shackleford boasts a fine pedigree as a half-brother to the 2007 Grade 1 Alabama Stakes heroine Lady Joanne (by Orientate) and Grade 3 winner Baghdaria (by Royal Academy). Their dam, the Listed-placed Oatsee, was sold for $1.55 million to My MeadowView LLC at the 2008 Keeneland November Sale.




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