06/23/2013 6:31PM

Hollywood Park: Small fields expected for Grade 1 stakes

Benoit & Associates
Obviously, the winner of the Grade 2 American Handicap in May, will be favored in Saturday's Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The two Grade 1 races at Betfair Hollywood Park on Saturday will have small fields.

As of Sunday, there were five probable starters for the $300,000 Shoemaker Mile on turf and five or six candidates for the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap over seven furlongs on the synthetic main track.

The 2012 winners of both races are back this year.

Jeranimo won the 2012 Shoemaker Mile but will not be favored this year. That role will go to Obviously, the winner of the Grade 2 American Handicap over a mile by 2 1/2 lengths May 25. Obviously and Jeranimo were third and sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita last November.

Other probable starters for the Shoemaker are Lucayan, Wilkinson, and Za Approval.

Wilkinson won the American Handicap in May 2012 but did not start again until last December. A 5-year-old horse, Wilkinson won an optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles here on turf May 2 and was held out of the American Handicap in favor of the Shoemaker Mile.

“I wanted to give him enough time to get good and fresh,” trainer Jeff Mullins said over the weekend.

Camp Victory won the most prestigious race of his career in the 2012 Triple Bend. Trained by Mike Mitchell, Camp Victory was third in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap here over six furlongs May 27. The winner of that race, Comma to the Top, is part of the Triple Bend field and may go favored.

Other contenders are Centralinteligence, Jimmy Creed, and Rail Trip. Jimmy Creed won the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita last December and the Grade 2 Potrero Grande at that track in April in his most recent start.

Rail Trip has not raced since finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita last November.

Trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday that Fed Biz could run in the Triple Bend or the Shoemaker. The winner of the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes over 1 1/16 miles for 4-year-olds at Santa Anita in January, Fed Biz is winless in his last four starts. He was fifth in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on May 27.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ATTENTION TRAINERS AROUND THE COUNTRY... Why don't you entertain the idea of shipping to Hollywood Park this weekend? Charlie Lopresti, Here is an idea... If you don't like the weight assignment for Wise Dan @ CD, the Shoemaker Mile is calling for you
jttf More than 1 year ago
Anil More than 1 year ago
The California racing product is now a joke.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Then why aren't the connections of Eastern horses shipping out? Where's Data Link for the Shoemaker? Silver Max? I guess both got scared at the prospect of facing Obviously. A big problem for Cali racing is that so many of the stakes races carry the minimum purse needed to meet a particular grade level. So, the Triple Bend as a grade 1 carries the minimum purse for a grade 1, $250k. The Shoemaker does a little better by offering $50k more. The overall purse is key because that means the runner-up in the Triple Bend will earn just $50k, and the runner-up in the Shoe $60k. For that money, why not run in an overnight $80k stakes? 3rd in the Triple Bend and Shoe will earn $25k and $30k respectively. One could get the same money winning a claimer, starter cap', or optional claimer/allowance. Say what you will of Obviously, Lucayan, Jimmy Creed, Comma to the Top, and Camp Victory, they're no pushovers. So, a horse could run well in one of these stakes and only emerge with $25k. And that's why more horses aren't entered in stakes that appear begging for more starters; all it takes is one or two elite entrants and it discourages others from entering.