The Shoemaker Mile (Grade 1)- $500.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile on the Turf
May 25, 2020
This Memorial Day, we will have plenty of racing to enjoy, and part of the day’s action is the Shoemaker Mile, a Grade 1 from SA. This is a race that historically sends a handful of horses to the BC Mile or even the BC Turf. That’s not an earth-shattering statement, but you can expect to hear this race get referenced quite frequently when that time comes. It’s a sharp field, and one that includes the reigning winner of the race, Going Gone. Since we last saw this Cherokee Sunset gelding in the Shoemaker Mile, he has won twice, and that includes his last start, the Makers Mark Mile at KEE. He will meet several here that he saw in that race. His trainer, John Henry, hopes to join a list of trainers that have won this race in back to back years. Australia Wide and Sanny Village were able to accomplish that feat. Jagged Account is the only horse to win the race, doing so in 2006 and 2008. Eleven go to post, and here is a look at them!
#1- Going Gone (John Henry, ridden by D E Centeno)- Looking to repeat as the Shoemaker Mile champion and to join Jagged Account as the only horses to do so. That would seem promising as he comes into this race on great form. Last month, he was impressive in wiring the field in the Makers Mark Mile, an effort that earned him a 102 SRF. He made the outside post work that day, but historically he is a horse that ends up starting on the inside. Centeno rode him for the first time in that race, so is ready to do it again here. Much to like!
#2- Decision In Five (Nakamura Stables, ridden by L Saez)- Finished as the runner up to Going Gone in the Makers Mark Mile at KEE last month. His race saw him look to come from the middle of the field in the stretch, but the winner was going, gone, at that point. His last victory was in September, when he captured the WO Mile (Grade 1), and even though he has not won since then he has been within a length on multiple occasions. L Saez didn’t ride him in the Makers Mark, but has been his regular rider, otherwise.
#3- Concerto Of Eggs (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by J K Court)- Quite an unusual story on this one. After failing to break his maiden in 17, yes 17, races; TwinTowersRacing sent him to an optional claimer, and he won it! What a strange but true factoid. He makes a jump into this race off of that; something that seems to much for him, but after that history, maybe he has everyone right where he wants them! Tough to pick, but an incredible story.
#4- Bring The Pain (Mb Stables, ridden by M Tunon)- This six year old gelding has been running quite well lately, with three wins in his last four starts. However, none of those wins were in stakes, which is a downgrade from where he had been running earlier in his career. The one race after that, that he did not win, was the Grade 2 Elkhorn, and he ran third in that mile and a half stake at KEE. Working well, and with his form what it is, he is poised to be a contender here, but I don’t feel he is a top choice.
#5- Hollywood Capo (Njvets, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- This is the only three year old in the field, and with that, he gets a three pound weight allowance. It is a race that has never been won by a three year old in its history. Hollywood Capo seems like a longshot to become the first such horse as he was not impressive in his only prior graded attempt. It does seem like he was on the wrong surface for that, though, and he should be better here on the grass.
#6- Jakers Delight (Nolespan Racing, ridden by F Prat)- Earlier in his career, this horse ran at the graded level, which included the Grade 1 Fourstardave at beautiful SAR. He was not ready to run that level, it appeared, and Jakers Delight was dropped down. In his last race, he went wire to wire here in an allowance, and that is earning him another chance against strong company. How ready is he? Hard to say given the public works that are available.
#7- Brief and Wonderous (Fractious, ridden by R Bejarano)- The jockey will look to win this race for the second year in a row as he was aboard John Henry’s Going Gone last time. Interestingly, he will do it aboard a horse that was John Henry’s up to a week ago. Brief and Wonderous was picked up by Fractious in private sales on the 18th for $175.000 and heads right to the race track for him. We last saw him at the beginning of April winning an optional claimer, and he does some graded experience in his past. This is not his first tour of duty with Fractious.
#8- B N Broadway (Nolespan Racing, ridden by Mar Garcia)- The trainer picked this one up in a claimer for $14.000, and was entered in graded races pretty quickly. That did not pan out, but the trainer is not giving up on him since B N Broadway has been good in overnights since the claim. Most recently, he won a starter allowance at WO in a good looking manner. He seems to have the ability, but he has to step up against this level and he has not done that yet.
#9- Nice Dive (Threshold, ridden by F Pennington)- We get the top three finishers in the Makers Mark Mile here in the Shoemaker, but unlike the top two runners, Nice Dive will have to do his bidding from out here. Good to see the great F Pennington back aboard in a race like this, as he has been giving other jockeys a chance to show what they could do instead. This is career start #30 for this gelding, and he has remained consistent throughout his career. His third place run in the Makers Mark saw him gain ground on Going Gone in the stretch a little more then did Decision In Five. Expect him to be there again if he runs that style.
#10- Hefner (Mb Stables, ridden by A Beschizza)- The second of two entries in the race from Mb Stables as the trainer looks to earn his second win in the race. It is a horse that does a great job of finishing in the money, as we see all of the seconds and thirds in his past performances. He has done that in 13 of his 20 races. As for wins? Well, there’s only two of them. Many of his races look similar, hanging around a couple lengths or so from the lead, and then just coming up a length or so short in the stretch. No reason to think this would be much different.
#11- California Chrome (Nakamura Stables, ridden by A Cedillo)- Our final runner in the field is the second entry from Nakamura. He was picked up in private sales for $200.000 from Aer Stables in January, but has only made one start since then. That was last month, running in open allowance that he was able to win. If he needed the freshener, he got it, and we’ll see now if he can have the productive year as he did when he was three.