Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile comes our way this Saturday, October 5 from Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. A nice purse of $750,000 will be on the line for a group of horses three years old and upward as they race one mile on Keeneland's turf track.
The Shadwell Turf Mile has attracted a strong field of 10 to go in race 9 on Keeneland's busy Saturday card Post time is 5:21 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all 10 combatants for this Grade 1 stakes. The Shadwell Turf Mile is a "Win and You're In" race for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile to be run Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
Wise Dan - The terrific three-time Eclipse Award winning Wise Dan! He is the only horse since 1981 to win three Eclipse Awards in one night. He was the runaway winner in Horse of the Year, Four-year-old & up male and Male turf (3yo&up). He has won nine straight races ahead of the Shadwell and 14 of his last 16 races overall including the Breeders' Cup in November. This year he looks to be on an Eclipse Award path once again - five starts and five impressive wins. Last time out was the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile to follow the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga August 10 after the Grade 3 Firecracker Handicap in June, the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in May and the Maker's 46 Mile Stakes in April. He is simply the most dominant horse on the planet right now and is the defending champion in this race - the unquestioned favorite Saturday. John Velazquez will be in the saddle from post 10 in Wise Dan's final tune up for a potential repeat win in the Breeders' Cup.
Silver Max - won six straight between March and July of 2012 including the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes, the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes in wire-to-wire fashion and the Grade 2 Virginia Derby - nobody could touch him! He struggled a tad after that - a disappointing fifth as 2-1 favorite in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes last August at Arlington Park, ninth in the 2012 Shadwell Turf Mile in October and was fifth in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream March 30 after five months away. But he appears to be back to that stellar form - a win in the minor Opening Verse Stakes June 1 in gate-to-wire fashion by 9 1/2 lengths at Churchill Downs and, another win by 5 3/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Oceanport Stakes at Monmouth July 28 and a terrific score last time out in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch August 31 at Saratoga. Sandwiched in there is an OK third in the Grade 3 Cornhusker June 29. He has won three of his last four starts and looks to be in terrific form ahead of the Shadwell. He figures to be Wise Dan's biggest challenge Saturday.
Summer Front - Christophe Clement trainee is coming off two terrific graded stakes wins - last time out in the Grade 3 Matchmaker at Monmouth Park August 25 and in the Grade 3 Miami Mile at Calder in April after a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming in March and a brief layoff. He ended 2012 with a sixth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby after a pair of thirds in Grade 1 races - the Jamaica and the Secretariat Stakes. She also had a win in the Grade 3 Hill Prince over Howe Great and the minor Duluth Stakes last year. He has looked terrific in his last two starts and will be after his third straight graded stakes score Saturday.
Winning Prize - multiple Grade 1 winner and Argentinean bred colt had eight starts at home with five wins and a second place finish including two straight wins (the Grade 1 Joaquin S. de Anchorena in December being the last). He has just one start since - an Allowance Optional Claiming score in his North American debut at Del Mar August 22 after a nine month layoff. He brings a lot of hype to his first graded stakes race in North America and will have Garrett Gomez in the saddle for trainer Neil Drysdale.
Willcox Inn - finished a good second behind Skyring in the Dixie Stakes in May to follow a nice second in the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz March 30 at Fair Grounds. He had an OK third in the Grade 3 John B. Connally Turf Cup Stakes in January before a fourth in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap in February as well. He ended his 2012 campaign with a disappointing ninth in the Breeders' Cup Mile. Last time out was a great win in the Grade 3 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park August 31 to follow his worst effort of the year - a disappointing fifth in the Grade 1 United Nations July 6. He was second in this race last year and hopes to better that effort Saturday.
Skyring - D. Wayne Lukas trained colt had a terrific win in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico May 18 after a fourth in the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile at Keeneland April 12 behind Wise Dan. Last time out was a disappointing sixth in the Grade 2 Fourstardave after another sixth in the Grade 1 United Nations in July. Other results this year include a second in the minor Fifth Season Stakes in January at Oaklawn Park and a fifth in the minor Essex Handicap on that same track in February. He has just four wins in 22 career starts but has struggled in his last two starts overall. He finished tenth in this race last year - not a whole lot is expected!
Turallure - looked terrific in 2011 and had two nice graded stakes wins last year- in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch and in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile - the last time he tasted victory. He followed that with a pair of good seconds including the 2011 Breeders' Cup Mile. He took some time away but has failed to re-find his form since. He failed to place in five straight starts before a second two back in an Allowance Optional Claiming July 24. Last time out was an OK fourth in the 2013 Grade 2 Bernard Baruch.
Handsome Mike - has just three wins in 19 career starts - a Maiden Special Weight score at Santa Anita in October, out of nowhere in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby last September and in April at the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes on this track - the only time he's placed in seven starts this year. Last time out was an ugly tenth in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien after an unflattering eighth in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap and an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 4. Also this year Handsome Mike had a seventh in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap, a fourth in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes to follow a pedestrian fifth in the competitive San Fernando in January. Handsome Mike placed in just three of his last 14 starts but opened a few eyes three back with his win in the Commonwealth.
Coalport - Wayne Catalano has seven starts this year with four wins and a second place finish and six wins in 15 career starts. He hasn't fared all that well in graded stakes company however - sixth place finishes in the last two graded stakes races. He enters having won four of his last five overall races however including two minor stakes races - the minor Franklin- Simpson Mile at Kentucky Downs September 14 and the Black Tie Affair Handicap at Arlington Park in June.
Hogy - Wayne Catalano trained gelding has been impressive this year with four wins and a second place finish in six starts - a win in the Grade 3 Hanshin Cup at Arlington Park in May being by far his best career result. He enters the Shadwell having won two straight minor stakes starts - the Presque Isle Mile Stakes September 8 and the minor Troy Stakes August 14.
Race 9 on Keeneland Race Course's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:30 PM.
||Winning Prize (ARG)
||J. Rocco, Jr.