Terry Hamilton (left) leads Heart to Heart and jockey Julien Leparoux to the winner's circle at Keeneland

Terry Hamilton (left) leads Heart to Heart and jockey Julien Leparoux to the winner's circle at Keeneland

Adrianna Lynch

Heart to Heart Heads Back to CA for Shoemaker Mile

Third time might be the charm for son of English Channel in a California grade 1.

Terry Hamilton and Brian Lynch are nothing if not persistent, especially where 7-year-old Heart to Heart is concerned.

They tried seven times to get a grade 1 win with the English Channel  runner. After that, he rewarded their patience with back-to-back wins at the top level in the Feb. 10 Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes (G1T) and the April 13 Maker's 46 Mile Stakes (G1T).

Now the veteran grass star has shipped to California to tackle another challenge—his third run in the $400,000 Shoemaker Mile Stakes (G1T) May 28 at Santa Anita Park. He was a narrow third as the favorite in last year's edition and finished fourth in 2016.

Heart to Heart was fourth in the 2014 Mathis Brothers Mile Stakes (G2T) in his only other run at Santa Anita. In one other start in California, he came in 10th in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T) at Del Mar.

Bowies Hero comes into the Shoemaker Mile in top form, with victories in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1T) and Mathis Brothers Mile in two of his last three starts. Between the two, the son of Artie Schiller missed by a half-length to Om in the Thunder Road Stakes (G3T). 

Om finished fourth behind Heart to Heart in the Maker's 46 Mile, and Kilroe runner-up Next Shares came in seventh in the Keeneland turf test. Both California-based runners look to return to better form on home turf after their trip to Kentucky.

Del Mar Mile Handicap (G2T) winner Blackjackcat, third to eventual champion World Approval in the Breeders' Cup Mile, will seek a return to form after dropping two straight. Hunt, who won the Eddie Read Stakes (G2T), Del Mar Handicap Presented by The Japan Racing Association (G2T), and Seabiscuit Handicap (G2T) last season, will make his first start since November. He rebounded to win the Seabiscuit off a 13th in the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T). 

The field is completed by Colonist and Arms Runner, each in search of his first graded win. Pavel's connections opted for a run in the May 26 Gold Cup at Santa Anita Stakes (G1), where he finished fourth.

Entries: Shoemaker Mile S. (G1T)

Santa Anita Park, Monday, May 28, 2018, Race 7

  • Grade IT
  • 1m
  • Turf
  • $400,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 3:46 PM (local)
11Om (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoseph Talamo121Dan L. Hendricks5/1
22Bowies Hero (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCorey S. Nakatani125Philip D'Amato5/2
33Pavel (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMario Gutierrez121Doug F. O'Neill8/1
44Colonist (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateDrayden Van Dyke121Jerry Hollendorfer15/1
55Hunt (IRE)Flavien Prat123Philip D'Amato8/1
66Heart to Heart (ON)Julien R. Leparoux125Brian A. Lynch2/1
77Arms Runner (FL)Geovanni Franco121Peter Miller15/1
88Next Shares (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRafael Bejarano121Richard Baltas6/1
99Blackjackcat (KY)Kent J. Desormeaux121Mark Glatt6/1