The Pizza Man faces 12 rivals in $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity attracts 12 seeking Breeders’ Cup berth
LEXINGTON, KY (Sept. 30, 2015) – Midwest Thoroughbreds’ The Pizza Man, winner of the Arlington Million (G1) in his most recent start, tops a deep field of 13 entered Wednesday for the 30th running of the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), one of three Grade 1 races Saturday afternoon on a 10-race program that features two other graded stakes.
Other Grade 1s on Saturday’s card are the 102nd running of the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity for 2-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the main track and the 18th running of the $400,000 First Lady for fillies and mares going a mile on the turf.
The Shadwell Turf Mile and the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity are “Win and You’re In” races for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held here Oct. 30-31.
First post time Saturday is 1:05 p.m. ET with the Shadwell Turf Mile slated as the ninth race with a 5:45 p.m. post time.
The Pizza Man is undefeated in three races in 2015, highlighted by his victory in the Arlington Million. Trained by Roger Brueggemann, the 6-year-old English Channel gelding will be ridden by Florent Geroux and break from post position 10 in the race that will earn its winner a spot in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) on Oct. 31.
The Pizza Man already has earned a spot in the gate for the $3 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) by virtue of his Arlington Million victory.
Three other Grade 1 turf winners are in the field: Gary Barber’s Jack Milton, Juddmonte Farms’ Seek Again and Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Bobby’s Kitten.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Jack Milton won the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) here in April and will attempt to join Wise Dan (2014) as the only horse to win the Maker’s 46 Mile and Shadwell Turf Mile in the same year. Victor Espinoza, who won the Shadwell Turf Mile in 1999 on Kirkwall (GB), will have the mount Saturday on Jack Milton and break from post position 11. Seek Again won the 2013 Hollywood Derby (G1) and finished sixth behind Wise Dan in last year’s Shadwell Turf Mile. Trained by two-time race winner Bill Mott, Seek Again will break from post position 13 and be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
Bobby’s Kitten, trained by Chad Brown, won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at 6½ furlongs with a last-to-first run in the 14-horse field. Mike Smith has the call on Bobby’s Kitten and will break from post position nine.
The field for the Shadwell Turf Mile with riders and weight from the inside out is as follows: War Envoy (Seamus Heffernan, 123 pounds), Kelinni (IRE) (Fergal Lynch, 126), King Kreesa (Manny Franco, 126), Grand Arch (Luis Saez, 126), Dutch Connection (GB) (Jim Crowley, 123), Heart to Heart (Shaun Bridgmohan, 126), Grand Tito (Edgar Prado, 126), Skyring (Joe Rocco Jr., 126), Bobby’s Kitten (Smith, 126), The Pizza Man (Geroux, 126), Jack Milton (Espinoza, 126), Tourist (Jose Lezcano, 126) and Seek Again (Leparoux, 126).
Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity Big Chief Racing’s Exaggerator, winner of the Saratoga Special (G2) in his most recent start, headlines a field of 12 2-year-olds that passed the entry box for the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, a Win and You’re In race for the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) to be run Oct. 31.
The Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity is carded as Saturday’s eighth race with a 5:10 p.m. post time.
Trained by Keith Desormeaux, Exaggerator, by Curlin, began his career in Southern California and won his second start at Del Mar before shipping east for his triumph at Saratoga. Kent Desormeaux, who won the 2011 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity on Dullahan, has the call on Exaggerator, who will break from post position seven.
The other graded stakes winner in the field is Starlight Racing’s Uncle Vinny. Trained by two-time Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity winner Todd Pletcher, Uncle Vinny was put up as the winner of the Sanford (G3) at Saratoga by disqualification.
Third in the Hopeful (G1) in his most recent start, Uncle Vinny will try to make Pletcher the first trainer to win the race three consecutive years. Pletcher scored in 2013 with We Miss Artie and last year with Carpe Diem.
Luis Saez has the mount Saturday and will break from post position 12.
The field for the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity with riders from the rail out is: Rated R Superstar (Calvin Borel), Uncle Jerry (James Graham), Hawkbill (Mike Smith), Gametown (Julien Leparoux), Brody’s Cause (Corey Lanerie), Sticksstatelydude (Brian Hernandez Jr.), Exaggerator (Desormeaux), Sheikh of Sheikhs (Edgar Prado), Wild Man (Ricardo Santana Jr.), Threefiveindia (Chris Landeros), Pinnacle Peak (Victor Espinoza), Uncle Vinny (Saez). All starters carry 121 pounds.
First Lady Robert Masterson’s Tepin, who has emerged as one of the top distaff grass milers in the country in 2015, and a trio of European invaders headline a field of 11 fillies and mares entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 18th running of the $400,000 First Lady (G1).
The First Lady will go as Saturday’s seventh race with a 4:35 p.m. post time.
Trained by Mark Casse, Tepin has compiled a 5-3-2-0 record in 2015 with stakes victories coming in the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs and the Longines Just a Game (G1) at Belmont. Her runner-up finishes were both decided in photos in the Diana (G1) and the Ketel One Ballston Spa (G2).
Julien Leparoux, a four-time winner of the First Lady, retains the mount on Tepin, a 4-year-old daughter of Bernstein, and will break from post position 11.
The European-based runners are Paul Crowley’s Crowley’s Law (GB) and the Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith duo of Easter (IRE) and Outstanding (IRE), both trained by Aidan O’Brien.
Trained by Thomas Dascombe, Crowley’s Law is group staked-placed in Europe and in her U.S. debut finished third in the Nobel Damsel (G3) at Belmont on Sept. 19. Victor Espinoza will have the mount and break from post position one.
Outstanding is making her second foray into U.S. racing. Group stakes-placed in England, Outstanding finished third behind Lady Eli in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) in July. She will break from post position seven and be ridden by Colm O’Donoghue.
Easter also is group stakes-placed and finished three-quarters of a length in front of Outstanding two weeks ago when they met at Gowran Park in Ireland. Seamus Heffernan has the mount on Easter and will exit post position five.
The field for the First Lady with riders and weights from the inside out is as follows: Crowley’s Law (Espinoza, 124 pounds), Kiss Moon (Corey Lanerie, 124), She’s Not Here (Mike Smith, 124), My Miss Sophia (Jose Lezcano, 124), Easter (IRE) (Heffernan, 121), Solid Appeal (Kendrick Carmouche, 124), Outstanding (IRE) (O’Donoghue, 121), Cara Marie (Robby Albarado, 121), Sky Treasure (Luis Saez, 124), Jealous Cat (Florent Geroux, 124) and Tepin (Leparoux, 124).