Tabbing Late Runners in the 2024 Shoemaker Mile

May 26th, 2024

The field for Monday’s $300,000 Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park boasts a lot of class and a plethora of speed, and I’m going to key my wagers with a pair of runners that will be closing from far back in the early stages in the 11-horse group.

Shoemaker Mile Wagers

  • $1 trifecta 9,11 with with 9,10,11 with all ($36)
  • 50-cent trifecta 9,11 with 2,9,10,11 with all ($27)

Del Mar Derby (G2) victor #4 Conclude, and Wesley Ward’s duo of #7 Dominican Pioneer and #8 Funtastic Again, will each be forwardly placed in pursuit of pacesetter #10 Goliad, who led at every call in bagging the Thunder Road S. (G3) in February for Richard Mandella. I think that the tempo will be close to rapid, although if any of the aforementioned runners will be there late, I expect it to be Goliad who will clear early on.

#11 Easter has turned into a very good one since coming to Phil D’Aamto as he won impressively in the San Gabriel S. (G2) and Seabiscuit (G2), prior to being a clear second in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) in his most recent endeavor. The six-year-old French-bred gelding has trained well in advance of Monday, and the fast pace will play well to his running style with Antonio Fresu in the irons. 

Tim Yakteen’s #9 Johannes has been impressive since being moved to the turf for his juvenile finale in 2022. The Nyquist colt has picked up three stakes wins on the green from five tries, which includes a sharp score in the American S. (G3) on the course coming off the bench. The Kentucky-bred four-year-old owns a powerful turn of foot, and he is another who will benefit from strong early splits in the event. He will be ridden by Umberto Rispoli. 

I’m not ignoring #2 Du Jour for Bob Baffert, but I don’t see how he gets an advantageous trip from a post near the rail in this particular spot. The stout late runner was an open-length winner of the Kilroe most recently, to post his third turf tally from four starts as of late, and he’s clearly good enough to run with this group. But he will be a relatively short price, and this field has too many other options in my opinion.