06/29/2013 5:55PM

Hollywood Park: Obviously scores first Grade 1 win in Shoemaker Mile

Benoit & Associates
Obviously won the Shoemaker Mile by 3 1/4 lengths Saturday for his first Grade 1 victory.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – A year ago on June 29, trainer Mike Mitchell was undergoing surgery for a brain tumor. Winning a Grade 1 race on the one-year anniversary of that date was a lot better, obviously.

Obviously, utilizing his usual front-running style, and his penchant to keep on going, scored the first Grade 1 win of his career on Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park in the $300,000 Shoemaker Mile, an emotional victory for everyone connected to Mitchell.

“A year ago was his surgery,” said his wife, Denise. “It’s kind of a big deal.”

It was a family affair for the Mitchells. In addition to Mike and Denise, their daughters Shea and McCall were in the winner’s circle, and Obviously was purchased nearly two years ago in Great Britain on the advice of McCall’s husband, bloodstock agent Craig Rounsefell.

Obviously ($2.60) was heavily favored in the five-horse field. Breaking from the outside post under Joe Talamo, he took the lead about 150 yards into the race, quickly opened a daylight advantage on his rivals, got a bit of a breather heading into the far turn while still leading, then flew home the final quarter-mile in less than 23 seconds to cover one mile on firm turf in 1:32.86, which is just 0.27 seconds off the course record.

“If he had to go faster, he’d go faster,” Mitchell said.

He didn’t, though. Obviously cruised home 3 1/4 lengths best, with Za Approval second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of third-place Wilkinson, followed by Jeranimo and Lucayan, in that order.

There was so much money bet to show on Obviously that he created a minus pool of $76,051.

Obviously finished third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile behind Wise Dan and Animal Kingdom, and Mitchell said a return to that race is the long-term goal this year. The victory in the Shoemaker gave Obviously a fees-paid berth into the BC Mile through the Win and You’re In program.

Obviously, 5, has now won eight times in 15 starts. He is owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joe Scardino.

Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
It is impressive that he could make the lead so easily from the outside and cruise along at that speed, but far more impressive in quickening stride and coming home fastest.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Obviously is surprising me some by how well he is finishing. Today, he came home in 11 and change for the last 2 eighths, for a final quarter in under 23. We all know he has speed, but he's really learning to relax a little more and conserve energy for the stretch. Mitchell commented after the race that Obviously could go faster if needed. I would love to see what final time he could post if he went 22 and 2, 45, and 1:08 and change, something he is capable of doing.
Perl More than 1 year ago
You got that exact scenario last November and he got smoked in the final furlong. l
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Jordan More than 1 year ago
In Obviously's last 7 races, the final time of the race has been within 2-5ths of the track record or faster. 7 straight races! Obviously has gotten extemely consistent, and consistently fast
Perl More than 1 year ago
It helps that he runs in tracks where it hardly ever rains and they have to paint the dang turf course green!
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Lots of negativity today Perl. Tomorrow is another day. I'm sure things will look brighter for you.
Jeff More than 1 year ago
today was the third time in the last week a drf writer has made condescending comments about bridge jumpers in the live updates section;just wondering what is the reason for this? full disclosure:i have made this type of bet twice.i certainly respect anyone who leaves any racetrack with money made!
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
You are right. Money made is money made. I think the writer was simply reporting on the minus show pool, thoughl. On another point, it seems that the public,in general, likes to root against this type of play. Human nature? who knows. The same as the people who love to hear that you won at the track, but immediately ask how much you have lost over all.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I doubt Wise Dan could have beat him today. This horse is super sharp right now. I hope they both hold their form till the BC or meet before then.
jay More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan is the best turf miler in the world, End of story.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
True, but Wise Dan didn't run his A race tonight. Dan just was a little sluggish, and didn't quicken like in the past when he finally found room. Maybe it was the 128 lbs? I would have loved for Wise Dan to have come out for the grade 1 to see it decided on the track. Wise Dan and Obviously are the clear 1-2 turf milers in North America.
Jewey More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan ran in a bog. You think it was going to be a 1:32?
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Writing that Wise Dan was a little sluggish, I was in no way referring to the time. Of course, Wise Dan wasn't going to be putting up a fast time. Instead, I was referring to the visual impression. Against a moderate field, Wise Dan took a while to get by the leaders once clear, and then never really powered away from them. In his 7 race win streak, this was one of his least impressive outings. But, he was carrying 128.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Given the unorthodox trip he had and the conditions of the turf and the weight differentials, I would say it was quite impressive, certainly more impressive than his first start this year when Data Link gave him a real tussle.
david More than 1 year ago
I have no idea what race you watched. That was a very impressive performance. Did you see the hole he came through on the hedge? No, well that is understandable since it was virtually nonexistent. As for him shipping around to prove himself, he won the BC Mile for heaven sakes. Horses should have to ship to face him.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
If Dan is as you say the best turf miler in the world, then I'm sure his connections will be putting him on a plane to Europe to find out.
Perl More than 1 year ago
So he has to be put on a plane to Europe? What are you smoking? Who is a better miler than him right now?
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Like I said Obviously. Obviously will run him into the ground this year. Obviously looks stronger than last year and if anyone chooses to be close to him they are finished. Wise Dan's best year was last year. No way he can duplicate it. Its horse racing. He's a year older and I think he's a tad slower.