06/22/2011 3:02PM

Hollywood Park: Courageous Cat due for Shoemaker Mile

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Tom Keyser
Courageous Cat, with Jose Lezcano riding, wins the Poker.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Courageous Cat, the winner of the Grade 3 Poker Stakes at Belmont Park on June 10 and three other stakes in his career, will be shipped to California for the $300,000 Shoemaker Mile on July 2, owner Marty Wygod said on Wednesday.

“That’s our current intent,” Wygod said. “He won the last race pretty easily. It seems to be a good spot for him. I think he would be the favorite.”

Co-owned by Wygod’s wife, Pam, Courageous Cat has won 5 of 12 starts and $781,300. In 2009, Courageous Cat was second to Goldikova in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita. A 5-year-old horse, Courageous Cat won the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga in 2009.

The Shoemaker field may include Caracortado, the winner of the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita earlier this year. Red Sun, the winner of an allowance race in his first start of 2011, is another expected runner, trainer Carla Gaines said. Wednesday at Santa Anita, Red Sun worked five furlongs in 58.40 seconds, the fastest of 27 recorded works at the distance.

Smith enjoys another from family

Eblouissante, a 2-year-old half-sister to 2010 Horse of the Year, Zenyatta, worked three furlongs in 36.80 seconds on Wednesday and had an eager partner in jockey Mike Smith.

Smith, who rode Zenyatta in 17 of her 20 races, worked several horses for trainer John Shirreffs at Hollywood Park on Wednesday. Wednesday was the first time that Smith had ridden Eblouissante.

“That was fun,” Smith said. “She’s got a whole lot of her sister in her, the way she carries herself. She feels great. It’s hard to tell now but she was on it. She wanted to do it.

“She broke off behind another horse, and cruised up alongside at the wire. For a big 2-year-old filly, she’s very light on her feet. There’s promise there. We’ll have to see how much.”

Shirreffs described Smith’s reaction, as “like a kid with a new car.”

Owned by breeder Eric Kronfeld, Eblouissante joined Shirreffs’s stable in late May. Wednesday’s workout was her second recorded exercise.

Shirreffs said he is not pushing the filly to be ready at a specific time this year.

“It was a nice little three-eighths,” he said. “She’s just having a little fun in the morning. I’m not in a hurry with her. I’m just playing around.”

Celtic Princess to go in Royal Heroine

Celtic Princess, the runner-up in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes on May 30, worked seven furlongs in 1:25.60 at Santa Anita on Wednesday, but will skip Sunday’s $100,000 Beverly Hills Handicap in favor of the $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile on July 4.

Trainer A.C. Avila said the additional time between races was the main reason. He said she finished the last furlong of the workout in 11 seconds.

“I want to make sure there is no bounce,” he said. “I want to give her more time between races.”

The Beverly Hills Handicap is run over 1 1/4 miles on turf, and Avila said the shorter distance of the Royal Heroine is another attraction.

The Beverly Hills Handicap field is expected to include Cozi Rosie, First Settler, Malibu Pier, Restless Soul, Timezone, and perhaps defending champion Turning Top. Trainer Simon Callaghan said a decision on Turning Top’s participation was to be made by Thursday morning, when entries are taken.

Cozi Rosie, third in the Gamely, will be ridden by Joel Rosario, who replaces Smith. Trainer John Sadler said last weekend that the switch was made because Rosario “is the barn’s rider.”