Trainer Julio Canani was all smiles on the Hollywood Park backside Wednesday after Special Ring smoked seven furlongs in a bullet 1:23.80 for the $350,000-added Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) on May 26."He looked great," said Canani, rattling off the fractions after a slow first quarter in :25. Jose Valdivia, Jr., who has the call in the, was aboard. Canani said the horse would have one more work before the race. Special Ring, a 6-year-old gelding who finished sixth in the Shoemaker last year, has not raced since winning the Wickerr Handicap in course-record time for one mile on the Del Mar turf August 2.
Canani seeks his fourth Shoemaker victory in five years after triumphs with Silic in 1999 and 2000 and Ladies Din last year. The latter, transferred to trainer Frank Monteleone, is expected to defend honors.Other probable starters include 2002 runner-up Redattore, 2001 runner-up Touch of the Blues, and War Zone, a probable supplementary entry from the Bobby Frankel stable.