Shadwell Turf Mile as deep as they come
Courtesy of Marty McGee of DRF.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The richest race at a given meet isn’t necessarily the best. But in the case of the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile, well, they’re probably one and the same.
Keeneland will be very hard-pressed this fall to showcase a race with greater excitement and depth than the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile, which anchors a sensational 11-race Saturday card. A full field of 14 turf milers will clash for the biggest purse of the 17-day meet while also vying for a Win and You’re In berth toward the Nov. 3 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs.
Special first post Saturday is 12:40 p.m. Eastern, with the Shadwell, the last of five straight graded stakes and the 10th race overall, set for 5:49.
Among the favorites for the 33rd Shadwell are Synchrony, Heart to Heart, Qurbaan, Voodoo Song, and the uncoupled Chad Brown duo of Almanaar and Analyze It – and that’s aside from a handful of live longshots.
“It’s an extremely tough race, but the good thing is I don’t think there’s any standout,” said trainer Mike Stidham, who will send out Synchrony for the Pin Oak Stable of Josephine Abercrombie. “It really is up for grabs. Whoever gets the good trip ought to have the best chance. It sure looks like there’s plenty of speed, which could help set it up for something off the pace.”
The stretch-running Synchrony has enjoyed a banner year already, with 4 wins and 2 thirds from 6 starts, all in graded company. Corey Lanerie will be aboard when the 5-year-old horse breaks from post 6.
“He definitely hasn’t gone backward at all since his summer races,” said Stidham. “I’m very happy with where we are with him.”
Heart to Heart, runner-up as the favorite in the 2017 Shadwell and winner of the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile here in the spring, is listed as a 7-2 morning-line favorite. He is looking to rebound off a subpar effort in the Aug. 11 Fourstardave, which was contested over a soggy Saratoga turf. The 7-year-old horse has had a remarkable career for owner Terry Hamilton and trainer Brian Lynch, winning 15 of 37 starts and earning more than $2 million. Julien Leparoux will ride from post 5.
A bit farther outside, Analyze It (post 9, John Velazquez) and Almanaar (post 11, Javier Castellano) will be looking to continue yet another huge year for Brown, whose stable arrived here mid-week from New York. Analyze It, the only 3-year-old in the field, will be trying to snap a series of narrow defeats in photo finishes, while Almanaar will be turning back off a runner-up finish in the 1 1/4-mile Arlington Million.
Qurbaan (post 7, Mike Smith), owned by race sponsor Shadwell Stable, will be making just his second start on this continent following 13 overseas starts. The 5-year-old horse was up in the final jump to win the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch at 13-1 on closing day at Saratoga for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
Voodoo Song (post 10, Jose Lezcano) will be out to prove he’s capable outside the gates of Saratoga, where he is 5 for 6. Trained by Linda Rice, the New York-bred colt was fifth at 3-5 in the Baruch.
Fringe considerations in this cast include Divisidero, a three-time graded winner at Churchill, all for Gunpowder Farms; Next Shares, a last-out stakes winner at Kentucky Downs; Mr. Misunderstood, a winner in 10 of 14 turf starts; and Bound for Nowhere, a speedy colt exiting a victory in the Tourist Mile.
The Shadwell Turf Mile, which was first run in 1986 and became Keeneland’s first seven-figure race in 2014, is the final leg of a pick five (races 6-10) with a $250,000-guaranteed pool and a pick four (races 7-10) with a $350,000-guaranteed pool. The preceding stakes are the Grade 2 Woodford (race 6), Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America (race 7), Grade 1 First Lady (race 8), and Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity (race 9).
NBC Sports will provide coverage on a 90-minute broadcast (4:30-6). Thundershowers are possible on a day when high temperatures are forecast to reach the mid-80s. An ontrack throng of some 35,000 can be expected.
The Saturday races are part of the opening three-day FallStars Weekend that comprises 10 stakes and ends Sunday (first post, 1:05) with the Spinster, Bourbon, and Indian Summer.
For more of the best horse racing analysis, go to DRF.com. Read up to 30 premium articles free every month! Check it out.
- September 25, 2021
Royal Patronage Scores in Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes and Earns Automatic Berth into Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s Royal Patronage (FR) landed a thrilling Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) at Newmarket, securing his guaranteed start in the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
- September 24, 2021
This is the fourth of eight weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 at Del Mar.
- September 24, 2021
Masekela Heads to Newmarket for Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes and Automatic Berth into Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
Mick and Janice Mariscotti’s Masekela (IRE) heads a field of seven in Saturday’s Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) at Newmarket.