The Shoemaker Mile, Purse $400.000, Grade 3, 1 mile, Turf for 3+
Here is a big race that will see at least one of the entrants move their way into the BC with an automatic qualifier. There is a tough field of eight males signed up to take their shot at this automatic qualifier. This race features multiple Grade 1 stakes winners, as well as last years BC Mile champion. This is what you hope all Grade 1 races look like when they are drawn up. Let’s take a look at the field:
1-Full Speed Ahead (Night Rider Stables)- Comes into the race winning half of his turf starts, and five out of thirteen total starts. The turf wins have all come at the allowance level and all came under a previous owner. Full Speed Ahead was claimed out of an OC by current owner Night Rider Stables in December of 2014 and been thrown into stakes company in all three starts since this claim hitting the board in two of the three starts with a second and a third. Full Speed Ahead has got the lead in both of those starts but was run down late, can he turn the corner and get and keep the lead in this race? I feel he has a lot of work ahead of him to do this but is working well coming into the race.
2-Hollywood Freak (MB Stables)- As the name says this horse is a freak, and is a multiple Grade One winner, and what I feel is more impressive is the back to back Breeders Cup Mile runner up. Hollywood Freak is on his way again this year to get himself back into that race with a win two races back in the Makers Mark Mile in April of 2015 over the soft going at KEE. The last race Hollywood Freak ran was a bit of a clunker but he faced a very tough field including the BC Turf winner, at what appears to be a distance that may not be exactly to his liking. Hollywood Freak gets back to the flat mile distance today which he relishes. This monster of a horse is for sure one you have to keep your eye out in this race, and more importantly moving forward in the turf races to come.
3-Seven Years (Alydar Stables)- Last year’s Breeders Cup Mile winner has shown that he is not ready to slow down winning two out of his four starts this year including a Grade 2 win last out in The Dixie Stakes in Mary of 2015. This old boy has started 41 times winning 14 of these starts. He is approaching $3,500.000 in career earnings and owner Alydar stable is hoping that this race will push him over the top of that mark. What is one thing I find most impressive about this horse is that all 41 starts have come from the same owner. As I stated before Seven Years is coming into the race in great form and his works do not appear to be slowing down. It looks like he is well on his way to being the favorite to get back to and win the Breeders Cup Mile again. This race won’t be a walkover by any stretch as there is some tough competition but based on history and current form he has to be the favorite.
4-Gran Gullis (Staud Gullis)- Has only a maiden win to his name and is the lone three year old in the race. That win came back in October of 2014, and since that race he has not managed to hit the board. It appears as if owner Staud Gullis was taking a shot in this race hoping for a softer field, where the three pound weight break may have helped give the horse an advantage. Unfortunately the race turned out to be very very tough and it looks like the horse may have an uphill battle against this group. The horse did have a nice fastest of 30 work out going 6F down the hill at SA on June 8th.
5-A Chrystal Brooklyn (AER Stables) Was a very impressive winner in the Grade 3 American Stakes last time out in a very fast time carrying the exact same weight as he will in the race. Owner Aer Stables is hoping that he can repeat that effort against a tougher field. This horse may have it in him, and has shown an affinity for hitting the board on the turf, with six wins and four second in 13 career starts. The horse is working well coming into this race, and owner AER Stables will find out exactly what he has facing this field. If he can repeat his last race he will be right there at the end.
6-Silver Bullet (Joseph Racing)-Another former Grade 1 winner and multiple graded stakes winner is lining up to take his shot at an automatic qualifier into the Breeders Cup Mile. Silver Bullet comes into the race in nice form running four times in 2015 with one win and three seconds. The win came in an allowance races but his last two races game in graded stakes company against top fields and he has finished second in both of them. The problem is both seconds were to other entries in this field. This horse is also training great in the mornings and looks like he is ready to fire off another great race. Can he overtake his rivals he has run against earlier this year? We will find out on Saturday.
7-Irish Flu (Sanny Village)-Yet another former Grade 1 winner entered into this field who has won a graded stakes race earlier this year. Irish Flu comes into the race after trying dirt last out in the CT Classic. Irish Flu has won three out of his ten starts on the turf hitting the board on two other occasions. The great thing about this record is two of these three wins come from graded stakes races, a Grade 1 and Grade 2 race. It is hard to say how the horse is working coming into the race since owner Sanny Village seems to hide most of his horse’s works. The last visible turf work for this horse was in August 2014. This horse has to be one of the contenders in the race, but is he good enough to compete with the elite of the elite turf milers? It looks like he can.
8-French Appeal (M B O Racing Stable)- Owner M B O Racing Stable saw something in this horse and decided to pluck in and claim this horse for $35.000 two races ago. He then stepped this horse up for its first shot in a graded stakes race and he responded, and responded in style with a two length victory in the Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes. This horse has run nine times on the turf and has won four of those starts, and has hit the board in two others. The works coming into this race are good works however they appear to just be off what the top horses in this race are doing. Owner M B O Stable will find out exactly what he has in this horse after this race, but I think he may just be a bit overmatched in this one.
As I said above this is what you hope all of your Grade 1 races with Breeders Cup automatic entries look like. There is so much class in the race it has to be a must watch for any race fan. Will the defending Breeders Cup Mile champion stay atop the hill or will one of these other seven competitors knock him off. No matter what happens I feel that there are several Breeders Cup horses in this key race. Here is my prediction. 3-2-5-7
Categories: Grade III