By News Team
24th May 2020
The latest edition to the William Hill stable, Nick Luck, previews the best of the action from Monday’s card at Santa Anita, including the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile.
Boyne can take strong Shoemaker renewal
Named for an all-time great, the Shoemaker Mile (12:30am) has drawn a fitting field as it headlines Santa Anita’s Memorial Day card.
With due respect to the last two winners of the race, Bolo and Hunt, they would likely struggle to land a blow against this group, whose celebrity line-up includes last year’s Royal Ascot hero Without Parole and Preakness winner War of Will.
I am hoping, however, that the fashionable names hoover up a good chunk of the market so as to make RIVER BOYNE a play. This reliable customer has found significant improvement of late, notably when beating Got Stormy in a Grade 1 here in March.
Most significantly, he can sit close to the pace that is very likely to be carved out by Neptune’s Storm in the next gate and likely steal a march on the closers. Without Parole’s stablemate Raging Bull could be finishing off best of all and will be very dangerous if the pace is hotter than expected. He is the one for the exacta.
Ex-French runner the play in Gamely Stakes
Later, the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes (1:30am) can go to Turf nonpareil Chad Brown. Against a likeable group of consistent and closely matched locals, Brown ships in the quiet improver Beautiful Lover and the ex-French Etoile.
I am taking a chance that ETOILE is ready on her US debut to score at this level, judged on some sound workouts at Payson Park, not to mention Brown’s positive notices on a recent edition of our Breeders’ Cup Thursday night show, Cocktails and Conversation. The admirable Lady Prancealot should run her race again and can fight out the minor placings with Mucho Unusual.
Mandella’s Olimpica hard to beat in Monrovia
Finally, I’ll be disappointed if JOLIE OLIMPICA cannot resume winning ways in the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes (10:30pm), the big sprint race on the card. Much of trainer Richard Mandella’s career was built on the success of South American imports and this filly broke the track record here on her US debut. I think she slightly surprised connections with her effectiveness at the distance, and I am pleased to see her back sprinting.