PRESTIGIOUS RACE IS FIRST BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE EVENT OF 2018
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 25, 2018)–Australian-born Brian Lynch, a fixture on the Southern California circuit for more than 20 years, returns “home” to Santa Anita on Monday with the likely favorite in the Grade I, $400,000 Shoemaker Mile (turf), Heart to Heart, who seeks his third consecutive graded stakes win. For 3-year-olds and up, the Shoemaker Mile has attracted a field of nine.
Third, beaten three quarters of a length as the 5-2 favorite in last year’s Shoe Mile, seven year old Heart to Heart comes off a scintillating gate to wire win in the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile (turf) Stakes at Keeneland April 13.
An upset winner of the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) here on April 21, the Phil D’Amato-conditioned Bowies Hero was also a winner of the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile on Dec. 26 and has six wins from nine tries at a mile on grass. With Corey Nakatani set to ride him back, Bowies Hero gets another an acid test for class in the Shoe Mile.
A winner of the Grade III Thunder Road Stakes at a mile on turf three starts back, the Dan Hendricks-trained Om pressed the pace and ended up fourth, beaten 2 ¼ lengths by Heart to Heart at Keeneland on April 13 and returns to a course over which he’s enjoyed great success.
A close second two starts back in the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) here on March 10, the Richard Baltas-trained Next Shares was most recently beaten 4 ¼ lengths Heart to Heart in the Makers 46 at Keeneland and will hope to be running late on Monday.
Trainer Phil D’Amato’s Irish-bred Hunt, who has been idle since winning the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles turf Seabiscuit Handicap Nov. 26 at Del Mar, is another who would appreciate a fast pace and will hope to be primed for a top effort off the bench.
A Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In’ Challenge qualifier, the Shoemaker Mile, named in honor of the legendary late Hall of Fame jockey Bill Shoemaker, is the first such Breeders’ Cup event to be run in 2018.
HEART TO HEART
Owner: Terry Hamilton Trainer: Brian Lynch
A true joy to behold, this 7-year-old Ontario, Canadian-bred horse by English Channel is in peak form, having won both the Grade I, mile and one eighth Gulfstream Park Turf on Feb. 10 and the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile on April 13 in his customary front-running fashion. A winner of 15 out of his 35 lifetime starts, he’s an impressive 18-7-4-1 at one mile on turf. Although he’s winless in three one mile turf tries at Santa Anita, Lynch appears to have him primed for a big effort in what will be his third attempt to win the Shoe Mile. With a bankroll of $1,917,290, he’s easily the biggest money earner in the field.
Owner: Agave Racing Stable, ERJ Racing LLC and Mudaket Stables, LLC
Fresh off victory in the Grade I Kilroe Mile, in which he earned a career-best 103 Beyer Speed figure, this 4-year-old Artie Schiller colt would relish a fast pace to run at on Monday. Second to Om to starts back in the Grade II Thunder Road Stakes at one mile on turf Feb. 10, Bowies Hero is 7-3-1-1 on the Santa Anita turf and although he notched his first Grade I victory in his last start, his connections are hopeful he’ll further cement his status as one of the circuit’s top turf performers.
Owner: Sareen Family Trust Trainer: Dan Hendricks
A two-time graded stakes winner going one mile on the Santa Anita turf, this 6-year-old horse by Munnings has also suffered some narrow defeats here, including a nose loss going 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course 11 starts back in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Nov. 5, 2016. In what will be his 26th career start, he’ll be ridden for the first time on Monday by Joe Talamo. With four lifetime wins over the Santa Anita lawn, he’s 12-3-3-2 at one mile on turf and is 25-6-5-6 overall with earnings of $1,016,990.
Owner: Michael Ivarone, Jules Ivarone, Jerry McClanahan, William Marasa, Ritchie Robershaw and Mark Taylor
Trainer: Richard Baltas
Although he was beaten 4 ¼ lengths by Heart to Heart at Keeneland, Next Shares merits plenty of respect in what will be his fifth start for Baltas. Additionally, he’ll be reunited with Rafael Bejarano, who last rode him on Feb. 10, the result a third place finish, beaten a half length, in the Grade III, one mile turf Thunder Road Stakes three starts back on Feb. 10. With two seconds and a third place finish, all on the Santa Anita turf for Baltas, Next Shares is 6-1-2-1 at a mile on grass and is in search of his fourth win from 16 overall starts.
Owner: Michael House Trainer: Phil D’Amato
Winless in four starts at a mile on turf, but 10-4-0-2 over the Santa Anita turf, this 6-year-old Irish-bred gelding lends considerable depth to the Shoemaker lineup and will hope to be rolling late under regular rider Flavien Prat. Although he’s been idle since prevailing by a nose in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar Nov. 26, a flat mile should be well within his scope off the bench. With a solid overall mark of 26-8-5-3, he has earnings of $668,764.
THE GRADE I SHOEMAKER MILE WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 10 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT
- Om–Joe Talamo–121
- Bowie’s Hero–Corey Nakatani–125
- Pavel–Mario Gutierrez–121
- Colonist–Drayden Van Dyke–121
- Hunt–Flavien Prat–123
- Heart to Heart–Julien Leparoux–125
- Arms Runner–Alonso Quinonez–121
- Next Shares–Rafael Bejarano–121
- Blackjackcat–Kent Desormeaux–121
First race post time for a 10-race card on Monday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10 a.m. For additional racing information, please visit santaanita.com.