Canani Has 'Special' Shoemaker Surprise

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Trainer Julio Canani, who has dominated the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) the last six years, seeks his fourth victory in the $350,000 turf test at Hollywood Park on Monday when he saddles veteran Special Ring.

The 8-year-old gelding will make his first start since November in the Shoemaker. ""He's training good," said Canani Friday. "He likes to run fresh."

Special Ring returned from a 10-month layoff to run second in the Shoemaker in 2003 and came back from a 10-month break to win the Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) last year at Del Mar.

Canani has accounted for seven of the 18 top three finishers in the last six runnings of the Shoemaker. He finished one-two with Silic and Ladies Din in 1999 and 2000, and won with Ladies Din in 2002. Besides Special Ring's second in 2003, Tsigane ran third last year.

Canani will try to equal the record of four victories in the race set by Jim Nazworthy between 1959 and 1966 when the stake was called the Premiere.

Little Red Feather Racing's Singletary, winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) last year, will be the horse to beat in the Shoemaker.

The 5-year-old horse, who starts from the outside post in the field of seven, finished second in the Shoemaker last year, and trainer Don Chatlos Jr. is aiming for the winner's circle this year.

"He knows what he's doing so much more than last year," said Chatlos. "He's got enough speed that David (jockey David Flores) can put him wherever he wants."

Singletary won the Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita in his tightener on April 9 to raise his earnings to $1,529,732 with seven victories in 18 starts.

Chatlos is optimistic but aware that Singletary will have his work cut out for him in the Shoemaker, in which all starters will carry 124 pounds.

"The five horses in the Arcadia were tough and the seven that are supposed to run in the Shoemaker is the toughest race you could find," said Chatlos. "It's not just one horse in there you have to beat. There are six.

"They're all dangerous, but the one that worries me most is Drysdale's horse," said Chatlos, in reference to King of Happiness, winner of the Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) in his last start for trainer Neil Drysdale. "We haven't faced him since the Shoemaker last year (when King of Happiness finished fourth), but he's really caught my eye on the track."

King of Happiness breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:01 1/5 on the turf Thursday.

King of Happiness and Castledale, winner of the San Francisco Mile (gr. IIT) in his last start, were both supplemented for $7,000.

$350,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT, Race 4, 2:50 p.m.), 3 & up, one mile (turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Castledale (IRE), Rene R. Douglas
2. Special Ring (KY), Tyler Baze
3. Whilly (IRE), Felipe F. Martinez
4. King of Happiness (KY), Corey S. Nakatani
5. Fast and Furious (FR), Victor Espinoza
6. Buckland Manor (KY), Alex O. Solis
7. Singletary (KY), David R. Flores
Each carry 124 pounds.