2014 Shoemaker Mile & Vanity

Santa Anita’s Shoemaker Mile

Summer FrontThe $400,000 Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile is the 7th race on the card at Santa Anita on Saturday and will host a field of 7 three year olds and up traveling 1 mile on the turf. Mike Sr. covered this race last year when it was held at Hollywood Park. In that edition of the race, he chose to go against the “obvious” favorite, Obviously and did not fare well, lol. Let’s see if I can do any better this year since, you guessed it- Obviously is the morning line 9/5 favorite again for this year’s race. Jockey Joe Talamo has had a really good run with Obviously, having won 6 of his last ten outings. He’ll definitely be the horse to beat in this race, given that the distance and surface are by far his preferences. He is coming out of a 5 ½ length win in the Grade 3 American at Santa Anita and has been training well ever since. Obviously will go straight to the lead here, but he shouldn’t be alone. I look for Silentio and Winning Prize to battle him for that early lead. I’m hoping that it will take enough out of him to let one of my closer picks win this one. I have 2 value plays in the Shoemaker for you to consider. The first is Jack Milton at 3 to 1 on the ML. Jack Milton has been one of HHR’s favorites here over the past year and he has almost always done right by us. I don’t care much for the 3 to 1, but I’ll definitely take it over Obviously’s quick to diminish 9/5! But my other value play will be with Summer Front at 6 to 1 on the morning line. I look for another big race from this 5 year old after his outstanding 2nd place rally in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont back in early May. I believe he could very well get his first Grade 1 win in this one.

Santa Anita’s Vanity Stakes

Let Faith Arise Over Yahilwa in Adoration StakesThe Grade 1 $300,000 Vanity Stakes is the 8th race on the card at Santa Anita on Saturday and will feature a field of 7 fillies and mares 3 years old and up traveling 1 1/8 mile. Let Faith Arise is the 2/1 morning line favorite with Corey Nakatani in the irons. Let faith arise will definitely be tough to beat here, but there are several here that will give her a run for it. At 5/2 on the ML, Grace Hall stands a pretty good chance of giving Let Faith Arise a serious challenge. She ran 2nd in her last outing in the Grade 2 Ruffian at Belmont, missing the win by ¾ of a length. Joel Rosario will be back in the irons for this one, too. For value in this race, I am going with Yahilwa at 6 to 1 on the morning line. It looks as if she should grab the early lead here without problems and could take this one wire-to-wire. In her last outing she ran second behind Let Faith Arise and missed the win by a neck in the Grade 3 Adoration. I look for her to have another big race here. For a longshot, I like Magic Union at 8 to 1 on the ML. She made a valiant effort in the Grade 3 Azeri at Oaklawn back in March, running second behind Close Hatches, missing the win by 1 ¼ lengths. She’ll have Javier Castellano onboard for the Vanity and should put up a strong effort. Good luck everybody!




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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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