Monday's Grade I, $500,000 Shoemaker Mile has the look of a wide open affair as Catapult, Delta Prince, Ohio and Sharp Samurai all appear to have big chances in a field of nine 3-year-olds and up on the Santa Anita turf.
Named for the legendary jockey, Bill Shoemaker, who was Santa Anita's leading rider a record 17 consecutive years, from 1951 through 1967, the Shoe Mile is a Breeders' Cup “Win and You're In” Challenge Race, enabling the winner an automatic berth, with entry fees paid, into the Grade I, $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Owner: Woodford Racing, LLC
Trainer: John Sadler
By any accounting, an unlucky nose loser of the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) here on March 30, this 6-year-old horse by Kitten's Joy will get a rematch with Ohio on Monday, but also appears to be facing tougher overall competition. “Catapult is doing great,” Sadler said this morning. “He's ready to go and hopefully he can win the photo this time.” A winner of both the Grade II Eddie Read and Grade II Del Mar Mile Handicap this past summer, Catapult was then second, beaten a half length, in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs three starts back on Nov. 3. With an overall mark of 18-6-5-1 and earnings of $1,528,359, he'll be making his seventh start for Sadler on Monday and will be ridden back by Drayden Van Dyke.
Owner: Stronach Stables
Trainer: James Jerkens
Although he's successfully demonstrated he can lay close to the pace if need be, Delta Prince, at age six, seems better suited these days to the role of deep closer, a tactic he employed in winning the Grade I Makers Mark Mile over a “good” turf at Keeneland by 1 ½ lengths on April 12. A Stronach homebred son of Street Cry out of the Machiavellian mare Delta Princess, Delta Prince, who will be ridden by Joel Rosario, is 13-5-3-4 overall with earnings of $1,173,819.
Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners & Bruce Treitman
Trainer: Michael McCarthy
Better than ever at age eight, this Brazilian-bred gelding pressed the pace and just lasted by a nose in a desperate finish over Catapult in the Grade I Kilroe Mile March 30, his first Grade I victory. Claimed for $50,000 seven starts back on June 10, 2018, Ohio has won two out of his last three starts and three out of six for McCarthy. A winner of five out of his 13 assignments at one mile on turf, Ohio will be ridden for the fourth time in a row by Ruben Fuentes and can be expected to ensure a legitimate early pace. With an overall mark of 26-9-4-2, Ohio has earnings of $488,065.
Owner: Red Baron's Barn, LLC, Rancho Temescal, LLC and Mark Glatt
Trainer: Mark Glatt
A fresh shooter, Sharp Samurai has been idle since a nose winner of the Grade II City of Hope Mile (turf) here on Oct. 6. A four-time graded stakes winner on grass, this 5-year-old First Samurai gelding boast the best Shoemaker last-out Beyer Speed figure, as he registered a 104 in winning the City of Hope. Ridden regularly by now-retired Gary Stevens, he'll be handled for the first time on Monday by eastern-based Hall of Famer Johnny Velazquez. With a ton of class in his corner, look for Sharp Samurai to be attentive to pace as he tried to improve upon an overall mark of 14-8-2-0 and earnings of $735,270.
THE GRADE I SHOEMAKER MILE WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 9 of 10 Approximate post time 5 p.m. PT
- Ohio—Ruben Fuentes—125
- Sharp Samurai—John Velazquez—123
- Le Ken—Tiago Pereira—121
- River Boyne—Flavien Prat—123
- Catapult—Drayden Van Dyke—121
- Bolo—Florent Geroux—121
- Desert Stone—Geovanni Franco—121
- Delta Prince—Joel Rosario—125
- Bowies Hero—Irad Ortiz, Jr.—121
First post time for a 10-race card, that will also include the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita and the Grade I Gamely Stakes, is at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
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