Heart to Heart wins the Canadian Turf. Coglianese Photo
First and second when last they met, Brazilian-bred Bal a Bali and California-bred What a View, along with eastern invader Heart to Heart, classy Bolo and recent winner Farhaan, head a field of seven 3-year-olds and up in Saturday’s Grade I, $ 400,000 Shoemaker Mile (turf).
Named for perhaps the greatest rider of all time, the Shoemaker Mile is also a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race, with the nominated winner of Saturday’s Shoe Mile guaranteed automatic entry to the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile in November.
BAL A BALI: Trained by Richard Mandella and a game head winner over What a View two starts back in the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) on March 11, he never threatened when fifth over a “good” turf at Churchill Downs going 1 1/8 miles in the Grade I Turf Classic on May 6.With a return home and to firmer ground, Bal a Bali is also proven effective at the trip, as he’s won seven of his 12 turf mile starts. Ridden by eastern-based Javier Castellano in his last two starts, Bal a Bali, a 7-year-old full horse, will be ridden for the first time on Saturday by Mike Smith, who will hope to have a fast pace to exploit late. A three-time Group I winner in his native Brazil, Bal a Bali seeks his second Grade I score for Mandella in the Shoe Mile. Owned by Calumet Farm Bal a Bali is now 24-14-1-4 overall, with earnings of $ 1,017,923.
HEART TO HEART: A length and a neck away from being victorious in his last four starts, this hard-hitting Brian Lynch trainee ships west from his Belmont Park base on the heels of a gallant second place finish, beaten a neck, in the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile (turf) at Keeneland April 14. A dedicated front-runner, this 6-year-old full horse by English Channel was a gate to wire winner of the one mile Canadian Turf Stakes two starts back at Gulfstream Park on March 4. Bred in Ontario, Canada, Heart to Heart is an eight-time graded stakes winner, but he remains in search of his first Grade I win as he approaches his 29th start. With six wins and three seconds at one mile on turf, Heart to Heart, who will be handled by regular rider Julien Leparoux, is 28-12-4-2. Owned by Terry Hamilton, he has earnings of $ 1,156, 870.
WHAT A VIEW: A gem of consistency for trainer Kenny Black, this 6-year-old Vronsky gelding will try to turn the tables on Bal a Bali, who defeated him by a head three starts back in the Grade I Kilroe Mile on March 11. Subsequently sent to Keeneland for the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile (turf) on April 14, What a View made the early lead and grudgingly gave way late to finish sixth, beaten three lengths. A dominating gate to wire winner of the one mile turf Crystal Water Stakes here on May 20, What a View would appear to be at the top of his game as he approaches his 21st career start.A winner of the Grade I Kilroe in March, 2016, What a View has an abundance of class to go with his front-running style. Owned by Finish Line Racing, LLC, the Ellwood Johnston Trust and Taste of Victory Stables, What a View is 20-7-5-0 overall with earnings of $ 824,326.
BOLO: Brilliant on occasion, this Carla Gaines-conditioned 5-year-old son of Temple City last won four starts back, when he made and eye-catching late run to take the Grade II, one mile turf Arcadia Stakes by a head on Feb. 11. Most recently third, beaten two lengths as the 6-5 favorite by Farhaan in the Grade III, one mile turf Thunder Road Stakes here on April 29, Bolo will get the first-time services of Corey Nakatani. Capable of beating the best on any given day, consistency remains an issue with Bolo, as he has not won two races in a row since December, 2014. Owned by Golden Pegasus Racing and Earle I. Mack, LLC, Bolo has proven most effective at one mile on turf, evidenced by his 8-3-1-2 sampling at the trip.His overall mark stands at 16-5-1-4 and he has earnings of $ 675,045.
FARHAAN: A certifiable “up and comer” at the tender age of eight, this Kentucky-bred full horse by 2006 Belmont Stakes winner Jazil comes off an impressive three quarter length win in the one mile turf Grade III Thunder Road Stakes here on April 29—his second start for Phil D’Amato. Based for most of his career in New York with trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, Farhaan has four wins from six tries at one mile on turf and demonstrated a dazzling turn of foot in defeating Bolo by two lengths in the Thunder Road. With Tyler Baze opting to stay with classy What a View, Farhaan will be ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat. Owned by Matthew Schera, Farhaan is 31-9-3-3 overall with earnings of $ 482,929.
THE GRADE I SHOEMAKER MILE WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 9 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT
1. Heart to Heart—Julien Leparoux–122
2. What a View—Tyler Baze—122
3. Bal a Bali—Mike Smith—126
4. Farhaan—Flavien Prat—122
5. Free Rose—Norberto Arroyo, Jr.—122
6. Gangster—Mario Gutierrez—122
7. Bolo—Corey Nakatani–122
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