Luis Taunay's favored Redattore caught pacesetting Special Ring a furlong from home and recorded his third straight victory in the $415,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) on Monday at Hollywood Park.
Overcoming the outside post in the field of nine, jockey Alex Solis kept Special Ring in his sights all the way around and guided the 8-year-old Brazilian bred to a three-quarter of a length win. Touch of the Blues last on the backstretch and 13 lengths behind the leaders, flew late to take third, 3 3/4 lengths behind the winner. The final time was a swift 1:33 1/5 on a firm turf.
Special Ring and jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. were away quickly and grabbed a three-length lead through a :24 opening quarter mile and :46 3/5 half. Redattore took closer measure as they turned for home and reached even terms with about three-sixteenths of a mile to go. The two battled all the way to the wire with Redattore edging away. Touch of the Blues, with Kent Desormeaux riding, touched fading Medecis out for third.
"Jose Valdivia rode a great race," Solis said, "but my horse ran incredible."
Defending champion Ladies Din tracked Special Ring and Redattore into the stretch, but faded to sixth.
Richard Mandella trains the bay son of Roi Normand, who has now won 13 of 27 career starts in a remarkably consisent career. He was second to Ladies Din in last year's Shoemaker.
"I got a chance to train him to 8, so I've had a chance to understand him," Mandella said of Redattore. "He had a bad post but I thought that if he could break good, he'd do fine. I just asked (Solis) to get a good break because he is kind of a free-running horse. He was as good as anybody could be."
Solis added, ``This horse just keeps improving and improving. Richard Mandella did a great job with him. He got sick, had to take some time off, and for Richard to bring him back to run this good is very impressive. There were a bunch of good horses in that race.''
In the winner's circle, Solis leaned down and kissed the race's namesake, Hall of Fame jockey Bill Shoemaker, on the cheek.
Winner of the Frank Kilroe Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) in his most recent start on March 1 at Santa Anita, Redattore earned $225,000 to improve his career total to $1,442,315. He has won seven of 12 at the one-mile distance on grass.
Mandella said there are a number of turf options for Redattore, but added, "He runs well on dirt, too. There's a little thought of running him in the Gold Cup."
A late betting move made Redattore the 2-1 choice over Special Ring in the nine-horse field. The winner paid $6.40, $4.20 and $3.40, while the runner-up returned $4.40 and $3.60. Touch of the Blues was $5.20 to show. The $2 exacta was worth $27.20.