Race Previews

Shadwell Turf Mile Preview: Keeneland is BACK in a Big Way

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Saturday’s Grade 1, $1,000,000 Shadwell Turf Mile will be the main event at Keeneland on a 10-race card featuring a trio of Grade 1s and a pair of Grade 2s. The other Grade 1s on the card are the $400,000 First Lady for fillies and mares on the turf and the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity for 2-year-olds.

The queen of Keeneland is back this year to defend her title! A three-time Grade 1 winner, Miss Temple City enters the Shadwell Turf Mile off of a victory in the Grade 3 Ladies Turf at Kentucky Downs on September 9. Trained by Graham Motion, Miss Temple City will be ridden by Edgar Prado and break from post position 8.

Her main challenge could come from the speedy Heart to Heart, who was the runner-up in the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile both this year and in 2016. A two-time Grade 2 winner and seven-time Grade 3 winner, Heart to Heart is trained by Brian Lynch and will break under Florent Geroux from post position 10.

Also shooting for a piece of Keeneland history is WinStar Farm’s American Patriot. Trained by Todd Pletcher, American Patriot will attempt to join Wise Dan (2014) and Miss Temple City (2016) as the only horses to win the Maker’s 46 Mile and the Shadwell Turf Mile in the same year. However, his form as of late has fallen off a little bit.

Other Grade 1 winners in the field are Gunpowder Farms’ Divisidero, a two-time victor of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, and Geoff and Sandra Turnbull’s Mondialiste, winner of the 2016 Arlington Million and fourth-place finisher in last year’s Shadwell Turf Mile.

The Shadwell Turf Mile, which goes as Saturday’s ninth race with a 5:45 p.m. local post time, is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile to be run on November 4 at Del Mar.

Top Choice

#10 Heart to Heart – Usually, I pick against Heart to Heart when he runs in a race of this caliber, but not this time. It seems like the time is now for him to finally pick up his first Grade 1 win. The 6-year-old horse has won a slew of Grade 2 and 3 races and over $1.35 million in his career. I love the way that he’s coming into this race; his win at Saratoga last time out was the strongest that he’s looked in a long time. The race appears to set up nicely for him here, and I think that he’s sitting on a monster effort. He’ll go to the front and try to take them wire-to-wire, and I think that he’s going to be extremely hard to catch.

Horses to Use in Multi-Race Wagers

#8 Miss Temple City – Her record at Keeneland speaks for itself! Last year, she won both the Maker’s 46 Mile and the Shadwell Turf Mile over this oval in stylish fashion. Her 2017 got off to a rough start, as several rainy days forced her to scratch. The delays caused her to make her first start of the year at Royal Ascot, where it was clear that she wasn’t ready to put forth her best effort. She returned to the states to run a disappointing third in a Grade 3 race at Monmouth, but she got back to her winning ways last time in a Grade 3 race at Kentucky Downs. She might be ready to run her best race of the year, and with her being back at her home track, you can expect a nice effort.

#3 Suedois – At the age of 6, this gelding will be making his first start in the United States. As I always say, we really have no idea how any European shipper will handle the American style of racing, but he’s competed at many different tracks in his career, usually running very well. His current form is solid, and you have to think that this race is being used as a prep for the Breeders’ Cup. It would be disappointing if he doesn’t show up with a solid effort.

#7 Mondialiste – Remember when this horse was considered a superstar when he shipped to the United States? Those days may be behind him a little bit, but he did show a little bit of life with a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile last time out. This horse is a former Arlington Million and Woodbine Mile winner, and in 2015, he nearly won the Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile, finishing second to Tepin. He may not be quite as good as he once was, but I think that there’s enough left in the tank to have a big shot here.

Jockey Gold Cup Wagering Guide

Exotic Plays

#6 Ballagh Rocks – This is a solid horse who you can count on, so keying him in the underneath spots wouldn’t be a bad idea. I remember picking him to win the Maker’s 46 Mile back in the spring, and he nearly won, beaten only a 1/2-length at odds of 19-1. He went on to win a Grade 3 after that, then finished third in the Grade 1 Fourstardave in his last race. I’m not sure if he can win here, but he’ll come with his usual run at the end.

#2 Divisidero – I’ve never been able to get a good read on this guy throughout his entire career, having been on the wrong side of him on several occasions. There’s no doubt that he has a ton of ability, but we don’t see it on a regular basis. His resume when running a mile is fairly strong, although he’s never actually won at the distance, but he has hit the board in both starts when trying it. I’ll put him underneath in here and hope that he doesn’t beat me.

#12 Offering Plan – He steps up in competition, but I find it very interesting that trainer Chad Brown sent him here to run. It’s nothing more than a hunch play, as his past performances don’t quite match up with some of the big horses in this race. Hitting the board is probably the best that he can do, but I have a feeling that he’s going to outrun his odds.

Party Crashers

#14 American Patriot – The winner of the Maker’s 46 Mile is back at Keeneland, but unfortunately, that was the last time that he’s won this year. His connections took him over to Ascot, where he was completely outclassed, and then his return race in the United States was dismal, as well. There’s good news for him, though, as a horse’s second race after going to Ascot is usually much better than the first race back, and he also gets back to a track that he loves. That makes him dangerous, and just like in the Maker’s 46 Mile, he’ll probably be a great price.

Throw Outs

#13 Applicator – Admittedly, this is a very tough horse to throw out, but his spotty resume and terrible outside draw make him unattractive against this difficult field. If he shows up with his best race, though, he’ll have a decent chance to make an impact here.

#4 Le Ken – He ran in America for the first time at Del Mar and finished a decent fifth, but I want to see more out of him before I back him in a race of this caliber.

#9 Flatlined – It looked like this horse was headed for a big year after pulling off an upset victory to start the season at Gulfstream Park, but he’s struggled since then in big races. He’s been better since getting some class relief in his last couple of efforts, but he’s back against the top horses and I expect a similar result.

#5 Dimension – If you look at his back class, you can see that he has some races that can compete with these types, but lately, he’s struggled to find his best race. This is a really tough spot for him.

#1 Tyler U – He earned an exciting nose victory last time out at Kentucky Downs in one of their rich allowance races. However, the competition gets MUCH tougher here, and I’m skeptical that he can match up.

#11 Christian C – He enters riding two straight wins, but those came in allowance events at Arlington Park. It’s very tough to see him winning this race, as it’s a tremendous jump up in class.

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