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Shoemaker Mile Stakes 2014 Odds & Picks; Savvy Seven Set For Shoemaker

Shoemaker Mile Stakes 2014 Odds & Picks; Savvy Seven Set For Shoemaker: The 2014 Shoemaker Mile (GI) runs this Saturday, June 14th, 2014 at Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, California. It was previously run at Betfair Hollywood Park, which was closed last December. The race is for 3 year-olds and up running a mile on the lawn for a purse of $400,000. This race is one of the “Win and You’re In” for the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series for a start in the gate this fall for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Shoemaker Mile Stakes 2014 Odds Picks

Tom’s Tribute, pictured above with Gary Stevens, will be a value play in the Shoemaker Mile Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, June 14, 2014.
Photo: Jeanine Williams

This Shoemaker Mile Stakes was inaugurated in 1938 as the Premiere Handicap paying a homage to the Hollywood film industry. In 1990 it was renamed to honor U.S. Racing Hall of Fame jockey Bill Shoemaker who won the Premiere six times over five decades. Last years winner was Obviously who is looking to strike-it-rich again this year.

The 2014 Shoemaker Mile has a start time of 4:00 pm, PST and is the 7th race of the day to be followed by the (GI) Vanity Stakes for fillies and mares.

I have to say I’m thankful the Triple Crown Series is over. That was emotionally draining and it’s time to move forward to some fun summer races. I’m getting geared up and ready to go for the Breeders’ Cup Championship Series.

This Shoemaker Mile Stakes is loaded with some older turf milers and is going to be salty. Sigi and I will take a crack at it with our picks and plays.

Kari’s Picks and Plays:
The barn of Christophe Clement sends in the battle-tested Summer Front who shortens up here following a second place notch in the (GIII) Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont on May 3rd going 1 1/8 miles on the sod. He has an interesting race record dating back to 8/2013: 1st, 7th, 2nd, 1st, 7th, 2nd and here we are today, 1st? Prior to the Fort Marcy on February 9th he was 7th in the Gulfstream Park Turf (GI). This will be his first shot over the Santa Anita grass. This War Front boy possesses a stalking style and is an eight time winner on the turf. With some nice works over the Belmont grass, he’ll be ready to roll with “Smoking” Joe Talamo from #5.

The Neil Drysdale trained Argentinian Winning Prize comes off a strong win in the (GI) Frank E. Kilroe Mile on the grass March 8th, 2014. He also hits the top three quite regularly with a record of 13:8:1:1. He was a winner two starts prior in the (GII) Arcadia Stakes going a mile on the turf February 1st. He’ll be facing one of his foes Silentio again in this race, who beat him three starts back in the (GII) Citation Handicap going 1 1/16 on the grass coming in third, just beaten by three-quarters of a length. Winning Prize has three (GI) wins in Argentina and five wins from six starts at a mile on the grass here in the U.S. Nakatani rides from post #4.

Coming into this race 3rd of the layoff is Gary Mandella’s Silentio. Last out on May 17th in the (GII) American Stakes he was chasing down Obviously to catch the 3rd spot going a mile on the turf at Santa Anita, second of the layoff. Out of Silent Name and an A.P. Indy mare, he was a close fifth, beaten by two lengths, in the Kilroe Mile on March 8th. He was a winner of the (GI) Citation Handicap on November 29th, 2013 beating out Winning Prize going 1 1/16 at Hollywood Park. Silentio was beaten by Wise Dan by 1 1/2 lengths last year in the Breeders’ Cup Mile on November 2nd. His overall mark is 11:4:1:4. RIdden from off the pace in his last eight starts by recently injured Rafael Bejarano, he will be ridden for the first time by Victor Espinoza from hole #7 .

Play: I’m gunning for Summer Front to win the 2014 Shoemaker Mile. I think he sits a nice stalking trip in the garden spot to pounce. Winning Prize will likely sit a close early pace to put pressure on Obviously upfront. Obviously could seriously wire this field, he’s fast enough, but I’m hoping not. If Winning Prize gets tired and doesn’t get there first, Silentio and Summer Front could pass him in the stretch. I agree with Sigi in there’s value with Tom’s Tribute coming fast late. This is going to be a bang-up tough race. I’m doing to play a $2 Daily Double starting with this race #7: 3,4,5,7/3 for $8 and call it a day.

Sigi’s Picks and Plays:
I’ve been following Winning Prize since he was named champion miler in Argentina. He won his U.S. debut and following that he placed in two graded stakes races. In 2014 he started on fire and I think this is the year of Winning Prize. The horse looks more mature and doesn’t need the lead to win. Surely we’re going to see this horse in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. I’m playing him even though he should be the heavy favorite.

If you’re looking for a great value, Tom’s Tribute is the boy. His last race was pretty impressive against a weaker field. He looks in top form and is dangerous if the pace turns hot.

Silentio deserves another shot. If he duplicates his Breeders’ Cup Mile effort, he’ll be very tough here. I’m just omitting his last race as the only speed in that race was Obviously, now the race turns totally different.

Play: I’m rooting for Winning Prize to win and also play an exacta 4/3-7.

Thank you Sigi for once again taking the time to handicap this race. Best of racing luck to everyone Saturday!

Shoemaker Mile Stakes 2014 Post Positions & Odds
1. Obviously 9-5 (IRE) J.Talamo/P. D’Amato
2. Jack Milton 3-1 J.Castellano/T.Pletcher
3. Tom’s Tribute 6-1 K.Desormeaux/J.Cassidy
4. Winning Prize 5-2 (ARG) C.Nakatani/N.Drysdale
5. Summer Front 6-1 J.Bravo/C.Clement
6. Pulpit’s Express 30-1 D.Van Dyke/J.Sadler
7. Silentio 5-1 V.Espinoza/G.Mandella

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