Shoemaker May Not Be So Obvious

Obviously Troubled In Shoemaker Mile

ObviouslyI was given the choice of what to talk about, either the Firecracker Stakes at Churchill Downs or the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Betfair Hollywood Park. I took one look at the Firecracker and saw Wise Dan in there, who hasn’t lost since Moby Dick was a minnow, and so I opted for the Shoemaker. I mean, I don’t understand why the Wise Dan connections chose to enter that race unless they just needed the $90,000 winner’s share for some reason. Talk about stealing! But I opted to talk about the Shoemaker, so I digress. This is the 3rd race on the Hollywood card Saturday and will highlight 3 year olds and up going a mile on the turf for a $300,000 purse and my selection in this one might not be so “obvious”.

A Look Back At Willie Shoemaker

Willie ShoemakerWhen you look at the Shoemaker Mile, your first thoughts have to be about the great Willie Shoemaker if you’re as old as I am. Originally it was named the Premiere Handicap, but was renamed in 1990 after the Hall of Fame jockey. He was a wonder. At birth he was so small, he was not expected to live through the night. Little did they know, he was destined for horse racing greatness.

Even though he did not win the Triple Crown itself, he won 11 Triple Crown races in his career. Sadly, he is remembered for standing up on Gallant Man before the finish line and was beaten by Iron Liege in the 1957 Kentucky Derby. After retiring as a jockey, he took up training horses and had success at that also. He died October 12, 2003. The Shoemaker Mile is a tribute to his racing legacy.

Lucayan Looks To Upset Obviously

LucayanOk, back to the race at hand. Obviously looks like the obvious one to beat here, but you know how I hate the favorites, so I am going with another. I believe the foreign horse has a shot here to upset the apple cart. I am talking about Neil Drysdale’s Lucayan. He has had one race in the USA where he finished second to… you guessed it, Obviously. Lucayan got off a step slow in that race and closed to get within two lengths of the winner. He even had a bit of trouble swinging around Barocci from his rail position and angling out wide to pass the horse for second. With a better start and less trouble, I believe he can give Obviously all the competition he wants. Take a look at the replay here-

So I think the Shoemaker will have the same two finishers as the American had, but in reverse. I hope everyone out there has a great weekend and a fabulous Fourth of July. 😎




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Handicap Horses

Co-lead Author & Admin at Handicap Horse Racing
Mike Lane, Sr is co-lead author and administrator of With over 38 years of experience and a degree in the "School of Hard Knocks" for handicapping, Mike has seen it all when it comes to thoroughbred racing and wants to help other horse players learn how to handicap and avoid the mistakes he has made in the past.

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