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Saturday, May 5, 2012
Dale Romans wins 2 stakes

Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Trainer Dale Romans captured a pair of stakes victories Saturday on the Kentucky Derby undercard as Little Mike won the $561,500 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic and Shackleford took the $441,600 Churchill Downs Stakes.

Little Mike left little to chance, bounding right to the lead with Joe Bravo aboard to pull a 12-1 upset. They covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.81.

A 5-year-old gelding, Little Mike improved to 10 for 17 as he held off Slim Shadey by 2½ lengths with Brilliant Speed third and paid $26.40 to win.

Shackleford scored his first win since last year's Preakness, beating Breeders' Cup Sprint champion Amazombie by one length in the Churchill Downs.

Those two were well clear of the pack in the seven-furlong race. Jesus Castanon rode as the 4-year-old ended a seven-race losing streak. The time was 1:21.06 as Shackleford paid $5.60 to win as the 9-5 favorite.

Groupie Doll turned in a smashing performance in the $334,500 Humana Distaff, beating Musical Romance by 7¼ lengths while shattering the track record. She ran the seven furlongs in 1:20.44, lowering the mark of 1:20.70 set by Alannan in 2001.

It was the second consecutive Grade 1 win for the 4-year-old following her triumph in the Vinery Stakes at Keeneland. Rajiv Maragh rode for trainer Buff Bradley as the 3-1 favorite paid $8.20 to win.

Hungry Island surged in the lane to beat Tapisfly by one length in the $223,400 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile. Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by John Velazquez, the 4-year-old got her fifth win in 12 starts. She paid $13.80. The time was 1:36.20.

Great Attack rallied for a mild upset in the $150,350 Twin Spires Turf Sprint, beating 3-2 favorite Bridgetown by three quarters of a length.

It was a victorious return to Churchill Downs for the 4-year-old gelding who was fourth here last November in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

Joel Rosario was aboard for trainer Wesley Ward as Great Attack ran the five furlongs in 56.61, paying $10.80 to win as the 4-1 second choice.