Overdrawn Field Looks to Punch Breeders’ Cup Ticket in Shadwell Turf Mile
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
Article Courtesy of Aaron Halterman of the Racing Dudes
The feature event on a major day of racing at Keeneland on Saturday will be the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (G1), which features an overdrawn field of 16 runners. NBC Sports will broadcast the race live, with coverage starting at 5:30 PM ET.
Defending champion Next Shares is back looking for more. Last year, he won at long odds of 23/1 after making a powerful move down the stretch to score by 3 1/4 lengths. In five starts this year, he has only one victory: the San Gabriel Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park in January. Most recently, he was seventh in the Tourist Mile Stakes at Kentucky Downs; however, that was his first start in nearly 4 months. He should be fit and ready for this race after that prep event.
The winner of the Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes will receive an automatic position in the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) this fall at Santa Anita Park. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the nominating person. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of California will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.
Here is a look at the full field:
#1 Next Shares – Last year’s Shadwell winner is back to defend his title. In his effort here last season, he was able to take advantage of a hot pace, closing strongly for a 3 1/4-length win. His form has been off this year, with four straight off-the-board finishes. He did kick off his season by winning the San Gabriel Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park. This will be his second start off of a 4-month layoff.
#2 Van Beethoven – He nearly made his United States debut a winning one last time out, losing by a length in the Secretariat Stakes (G1) at Arlington Park. The race seemed to be a major improvement from his recent overseas form, which bodes well for him in this spot. Trainer Aidan O’Brien is usually no stranger to success when shipping to the United States, but he is winless in 17 attempts this year.
#3 Bandua – This colt has shown up for several big events during his career, but he has seemingly found his best form as of late. After winning the Arlington Handicap (G3) two starts back, he nearly took the field wire-to-wire in the Arlington Million (G1), finishing third by 1 3/4 lengths. He cuts back to a mile after running in longer events.
#4 Valid Point – Trainer Chad Brown has campaigned this horse beautifully so far, with the colt picking up wins in all three starts. He kicked off his career with a maiden special weight victory at Gulfstream Park, which led to an allowance triumph at Belmont Park. He then won the Secretariat Stakes (G1) at Arlington Park in his first stakes appearance. Now, he must face older horses for the first time in this spot, but he has passed every test so far.
#5 Bowies Hero – This horse will ship away from California for the first time since breaking his maiden at Lone Star on debut. In four starts this year, he has one victory, coming in the Eddie Read Stakes (G2) at Del Mar. This runner has shown up for several big events during his 20-race career and usually comes with a solid effort.
#6 Admissions Office – He’ll come into this race off of a small layoff that followed a third-place finish in the Wise Dan Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs. Two back, he challenged Catholic Boy in the Dixie Stakes (G2) at Pimlico, finishing second after making a strong late move down lane. He has never finished worse than third in seven career starts.
#7 Diamond Oops – This gelding is entered both here and in the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (G1) on Friday. Dirt seems to be his best surface, which suggests that he could be racing Friday instead of in this spot. He is winless in two turf starts, but he did run a decent fifth in the Jaipur Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park earlier this year.
#8 Vintager – Trainer Charles Appleby brings this 4-year-old gelding to the United States for the first time after winning a pair of group stakes. Overall, he has never finished off the board in five starts at this distance, winning three of them. He’ll have the normal challenges that face all European shippers for the first time, so his question mark is how he handles the different racing conditions.
#9 First Premio – After running in lower-level events throughout his career, First Premio has stepped up in class this season with moderate success. He was a close fifth in the Wise Dan Stakes (G2) three back at Churchill Downs, then was less than a length away from winning the Tourist Mile Stakes at Kentucky Downs last time out. Those efforts make him a logical longshot in this spot.
#10 Robin of Navan – After 34 starts in Europe, this horse will make his United States debut at the age of 6. He seems to be running as well as ever, though, having picked up a Group 2 win two starts back at Dusseldorf. That led to a seventh-place finish in the Prix du Moulin de Lonchamp (G1), where he was only defeated by 4 3/4 lengths. We’ll see how he handles the racing conditions in this country.
#11 March to the Arch – This colt has won twice in six starts this season, including a major victory in the Wise Dan Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs. After that, he shipped to Saratoga to run fifth in the Forbidden Apple (G3), fourth in the loaded Fourstardave Stakes (G1), and sixth in the Bernard Baruch Stakes (G2). He retains jockey Tyler Gaffalione for the seventh straight race.
#12 Suedois – It’s good to see this 8-year-old gelding back for a second stint in this country. The last time that he came here was in 2017, when he won this very race by a 1/2-length. That led to a start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), where he was a solid fourth. After returning to Europe, he hit the board in seven of his last 13 starts. Two back, he won the Weatherbys Racing Bank Supreme Stakes (G3) at Goodwood.
#13 Divisidero – Few other horses run as consistently as Divisidero, who has hit the board in 17 of 28 lifetime starts against the best turf horses in the country. Last time out, he picked up his first win of the season in the Red Bank Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park. That 1-length victory could be the confidence booster that he needed to show up with a top effort here.
#14 Real Story – He’s hit the board in four of five races this season, including a solid second last time out in the Tourist Mile Stakes at Kentucky Downs. Two back, he picked up a win at Indiana Grand in the Warrior Veterans Stakes, his only victory this year. This will be his first try against Grade 1 company since running ninth in the Secretariat Stakes (G1) last year at Arlington Park.
Also Eligibles: Get Western, Emaraaty
The Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes serves as one of 15 Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” events this weekend at Keeneland, Santa Anita Park, and Belmont Park. Here is the full schedule for this coming weekend:
- Friday: The Darley Alcibiades Stakes (Juvenile Fillies) at Keeneland
- Friday: The Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (Sprint) at Keeneland
- Saturday: The Champagne Stakes (TVG Juvenile) at Belmont Park
- Saturday: The Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (TVG Juvenile) at Keeneland
- Saturday: The First Lady Stakes (Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf) at Keeneland
- Saturday: The Shadwell Turf Mile (TVG Mile) at Keeneland
- Saturday: The Thoroughbred Club of American Stakes (Filly and Mare Sprint) at Keeneland
- Saturday: The Santa Anita Sprint Championship (Sprint) at Santa Anita Park
- Sunday: The Flower Bowl Stakes (Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf) at Belmont Park
- Sunday: The Frizette Stakes (Juvenile Fillies) at Belmont Park
- Sunday: The Futurity (Juvenile Turf Sprint) at Belmont Park
- Sunday: The Dixiana Bourbon Stakes (Juvenile Turf) at Keeneland
- Sunday: The Indian Summer Stakes (Juvenile Turf Sprint) at Keeneland
- Sunday: The Juddmonte Spinster (Longines Distaff) at Keeneland
- Sunday: The Speakeasy Stakes (Juvenile Turf Sprint) at Santa Anita Park
The American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events come to a close on Wednesday, October 9, with the running of the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. That race will be a “Win and You’re In” for the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
For more coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, head over to racingdudes.com.
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