Click above to watch Barry Irwin and Dale Romans at the Belmont Media Luncheon
(Image : TDN - Footage : NYRA)
11 June 2011
The match-up between Team Valor International’s GI Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux) and GI Preakness winner Shackleford (Forestry) got off to an early start at yesterday’s Belmont media luncheon in Manhattan. Asked about the rematch, Team Valor’s Barry Irwin said, “I’m not concerned at all about Shackleford. Mucho Macho Man is the horse I’m worried about.”
Shackleford’s trainer Dale Romans later responded, “That’s not the dumbest thing that Barry’s ever said, but it’s close.”
Speculating on the Derby winner’s road back to Churchill Downs for the Breeders’ Cup in November, Irwin commented, “After the Belmont Stakes, the Breeders’ Cup Classic would be a long-term goal at the end of the year. But I have my own idea of how to get there that wouldn’t include the GI Haskell Invitational or the GI Travers Stakes.
Undaunted, Romans countered, “I’ll meet Animal Kingdom on any track, at any distance.”
In 21 previous meetings of Derby and Preakness winners in the Belmont, Preakness winners have won 10 times and Derby winners have won 5 times. Most recently, Preakness winner Afleet Alex (Northern Afleet) won the 2005 Belmont, with Derby hero Giacomo (Holy Bull) finishing seventh.
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News