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Belmont Stakes 2011: Animal Kingdom, Shackleford Get In Final Practice Runs

2011 Belmont Stakes favorites Animal Kingdom, Nehro and Shackleford put the finishing touches on their race preparations, with the Kentucky Derby champion at one point declaring himself already quite prepared, and thank you:

There was one morning when [Animal Kingdom] decided he wanted to gallop a mile, rather than the planned mile and a half (he is quirky!).    

Shackleford got in just enough work to show his team he's ready to contend, while Nehro appears to be getting in more frequent, but less vigorous, runs than his primary competition is. As The Rail's Alex Brown reports, all three connections are pleased with the results, though there's certainly more than one Animal Kingdom bettor now thinking about dialing back his or her wager by a third to counter that missing half-mile.

Look back on our 2011 Preakness StoryStream to get up to speed. To look back at the Derby, check out SB Nation's 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream. Also, our horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come has two must-read resources for Belmont fans: A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.