Sunday, May 24, 2009

Historic Shoemaker Mile Highlights Memorial Day Card at Hollywood Park

Thorn Song returning from a gallop Saturday morning, 5/23/09, at Hollywood Park.

The Shoemaker Mile is Hollywood Park's oldest stakes race. The inaugural running was a $2,500 feature on opening day, June 10, 1938, when more than 40,000 fans watched Air Chute rally from last to defeat Faithful Maud. Actress Barbara Stanwyck presented the winning trophy.

The race was known as the Premiere from 1938 to 1989 (except in 1950 when it was called the Preview). It was renamed to honor jockey Bill Shoemaker, whose win in the 1989 running of the Premiere aboard Peace made him the first jockey to amass 1,000 career stakes victories. Shoemaker had 8,833 winners in his riding career, including 2,416 at Hollywood Park, and was the world's leading jockey until being surpassed by Laffit Pincay, Jr. in 1999.

Ventura will take on the boys today, hoping to be the third female winner of the Shoemaker Mile. It was won by Happy Issue in 1946 and Special Touch in 1951. Ventura has won five of ten career starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint and the Grade 1 Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita.

The Shoemaker field includes Kentucky shipper Thorn Song, winner of the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile in October at Keeneland, who subsequently finished ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Trained by Dale Romans, the 6-year-old gray/roan son of Unbridled's Song has seven wins in 26 starts and earnings of $932,183. Here's the field:

The 66th Running of The Shoemaker Mile (Grade I)
$250,000 Added - One Mile (Turf) – 3-Year-Olds and Up
1 HYPERBARIC          '03 G 124 Espinoza, V   Canani, Julio
2 WHATSTHESCRIPT (IRE '04 H 124 Rosario, J Sadler, John
3 STORM MILITARY (ARG)'02 H 124 Blanc, B Frankel, Robert
4 VENTURA '04 M 119 Gomez, G Frankel, Robert
5 DIXIE CHATTER '05 C 124 Baze, T Mandella, Richard
6 THORN SONG '03 H 124 Smith, M Romans, Dale
7 U S RANGER '04 H 124 Bejarano, R Drysdale, Neil
8 TIZ WEST '05 C 124 Talamo, J Mandella, Richard


Sally said...

Wow, Mary, thanks for focussing on Thorn Song, paid nicely. What happened to Ventura?

zraces said...

Great cover on a longshot winner.
Ventura wasn't acting like her old self after the trip from New York. Careful barn made a hard decision in the horses' best interest.

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