Heart To Heart Invades Santa Anita In Search Of Shoemaker Mile Victory

Australian-born Brian Lynch, a fixture on the Southern California circuit for more than 20 years, returns “home” to Santa Anita on Monday with the likely favorite in the Grade I, $400,000 Shoemaker Mile (turf), Heart to Heart, who seeks his third consecutive graded stakes win.  For 3-year-olds and up, the Shoemaker Mile has attracted a field of nine.

Third, beaten three quarters of a length as the 5-2 favorite in last year’s Shoe Mile, seven year old Heart to Heart comes off a scintillating gate to wire win in the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile (turf) Stakes at Keeneland April 13.

An upset winner of the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) here on April 21, the Phil D’Amato-conditioned Bowies Hero was also a winner of the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile on Dec. 26 and has six wins from nine tries at a mile on grass.  With Corey Nakatani set to ride him back, Bowies Hero gets another an acid test for class in the Shoe Mile.

A winner of the Grade III Thunder Road Stakes at a mile on turf three starts back, the Dan Hendricks-trained Om pressed the pace and ended up fourth, beaten 2 ¼ lengths by Heart to Heart at Keeneland on April 13 and returns to a course over which he’s enjoyed great success.

A close second two starts back in the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) here on March 10, the Richard Baltas-trained Next Shares was most recently beaten 4 ¼ lengths Heart to Heart in the Makers 46 at Keeneland and will hope to be running late on Monday.

Trainer Phil D’Amato’s Irish-bred Hunt, who has been idle since winning the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles turf Seabiscuit Handicap Nov. 26 at Del Mar, is another who would appreciate a fast pace and will hope to be primed for a top effort off the bench.

A Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In’ Challenge qualifier, the Shoemaker Mile, named in honor of the legendary late Hall of Fame jockey Bill Shoemaker, is the first such Breeders’ Cup event to be run in 2018.

The post Heart To Heart Invades Santa Anita In Search Of Shoemaker Mile Victory appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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