Shoemaker Mile (Grade 1) (BC)- $400.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile on the Turf
June 3, 2017
A star-studded field of seven has descended onto SA for the chance to get some valuable BC Points in the 13th running of the Shoemaker Mile. This will be the fifth time that the race has been run here at SA after previously being run at HOL. There have been many greats who have won this race, including Avery Island and Jamfest for those with a shorter term memory, and then the likes of Dogma and Jagged Account as we go back even further. Jagged Account did something particularly special in winning this race twice, in 2006 and 2008 as a part of his just over $5,000.000 in career earnings. Australia Wide was the winning trainer for those races, and he would also win three of the first four editions of the race. Sanny Village has two wins in the race. Mb Stables has a good chance to cross this race off the list of those he has not yet won with two strong entries. It’s a field of seven, so let’s meet the field!
#1- Yankee Baseball (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by J R Velazquez)- It should only be natural that a horse named this would become a great champion, but Yankee Baseball still has only one win in 15 career starts. That seems un-Yankee like. The trainer has regularly put this colt out there in graded stakes, but it is going to take more then a great name to win a race like this, and as much as I hate to say it, Yankee baseball is only striking out at this level. Even a home game in his last race at BEL in the $150.000 Elusive Quality saw him fail to finish in the money.
#2- Hold The Mach (Night Rider Stables, ridden by R Maragh)- The seven year old gelding has had a great career, having earned the right to run in the BC Mile the last two years. That said, he has been at or near the back in both. Since running here in the BC last year, Hold The Mach was cold during the winter months, but responded with an optional claiming win in March which was followed up in the Grade 3 Appleton with a victory. You don’t get to the BC two years in a row if you don’t know how to get it done, and when Hold The Mach is hot, he is as good as anyone.
#3- Desolation Island (Mb Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- His great career has seen him win just over $2,400.000 in 25 career starts, ten of which have ended up with him in the winners circle. The biggest accomplishment in his career is a second place finish in the 2015 BC Turf. Since then, he has continued to run like an almost-BC champion, as he has won the last two editions of the Makers Mark Mile, a Grade 1 event held at KEE in April which will always have a strong field. It’s somewhat interesting, though, that they are his last two wins, and it really seems like he enjoys racing at KEE based on his performances there. This might be his second favorite track, so look for him to be one of the favorites. Seems to do well when I cover him, too.
#4- Valiant Charge (Threshold, ridden by F Pennington)- The four year old colt by Brilliant is looking for his first graded stake win in his seventh such attempt. He nearly pulled it off two races ago, with a good showing in The Canadian Turf (Grade 3), would see his valiant charge come up just a little short, running second to the legendary Sir Tom. Nothing necessarily wrong with that. After that result, he was taken off the grass for the first time in a bout a year and a half. How’d that go? Well, let’s just say his back being on the grass is not a surprise. He does seem due and is certainly one to watch.
#5- Fire Up The Night (John Henry, ridden by R Bejarano)- Had a pretty good summer out in New York last year, firing up the fourth of July night with an ungraded Manila Stakes win at BEL, then a month later showed he could do well sprinting too, as he won the Quick Call at beautiful Saratoga Race Course (less then two months away, yay!) After having some fun in private sales, he arrived with John Henry, and continued to run well into the fall where he ultimately ran in the BC Turf Sprint. Unfortunately, that ninth place run started a streak of off the board finishes. He needs a bounce back in his career, but seemed to like warmer months last year.
#6- Aggravation (Mb Stables, ridden by R J Albarado)- As I type this preview, it’s only fitting that my hotel internet continues to disconnect, causing me much aggravation as I try to research Aggravation. Around this time last year, Aggravation began to advance his career with back to back wins in the ungraded Singletary Stakes, and then the Grade 2 Wise Dan. That culminated streak of winning five of his first seven career races, and it would send him ultimately to the BC Mile where he ran a strong fourth. So far this year, things have gone well, but there would be nothing like picking up a win here. What I like about him more then anything else is his overall consistency, and that is why I feel that he can take this field.
#7- Solow (Blushing Meadows, ridden by D Moran)- This is the lone three year old in the field, and it will allow him to have a three pound weight allowance on everyone. That should certainly be beneficial for him since he is on a good run a form. In his last start, he won the Grade 2 American Turf, on soft turf, for his first graded victory. He’s becoming more and more comfortable going longer as the speed figures show with the upward trend recently on races greater then a mile on the grass. Plenty to like here if he was carrying the same weight, but with the allowance, he becomes a lot more dangerous.