Distance specialist Bowies Hero appeals in Shoemaker Mile

The Grade I, $400,000 Shoemaker Mile attracted a strong field of nine as Santa Anita’s Memorial Day feature. The contentious one-mile turf heat goes as Race 7 on a 10-race program. Approximate post time is 6:30 p.m. EST. Don’t forget to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#2 BOWIES HERO (5-2) is a dependable closer that loves the one-mile trip, as he’s 6-for-9 lifetime at the distance. He’s been ridden by Corey Nakatani since his Mathis Brothers Mile win three-back, settling for second in the Thunder Road before taking the Kilroe Mile. BOWIES HERO was a bit too far back in the Thunder Road, perhaps the result of Nakatani trying to figure his mount out. Nakatani should have him a few lengths off the lead likely to be set by HEART TO HEART before rolling home late. The post should help him save ground early; he’s the pick.

#6 HEART TO HEART (2-1, morning-line favorite) has found a fountain of youth at age seven, taking the Gulfstream Park Turf and Maker’s 46 Mile in consecutive starts. A third straight Grade I is in the realm of possibility, but Santa Anita has been the site of some of his worst career performances. HEART TO HEART’s record here is just 3-0-0-1. Julien Leparoux will need to use HEART TO HEART’s speed cautiously as he’s surrounded by #1 OM and #9 BLACKJACKCAT.

#8 NEXT SHARES (6-1) and #4 COLONIST (15-1) are closers capable of making minor late impacts. NEXT SHARES switches to Rafael Bejarano off a poor showing in the Maker’s 46 Mile but hit the board in two straight over this course before that.

COLONIST just missed in the Grade III American when last seen. He should get the honest pace he needs under Drayden Van Dyke.

The play: $4 exacta box 2/6, $2 exacta 2/4,8 ($12)

DFJ analysis: Flavien Prat rides #5 HUNT in the Shoemaker Mile, and while that mount might need a start off the bench, Prat’s other four Memorial Day assignments look promising. They’re all 4-1 or less on the morning-line, including #6 ANCIENT SECRET (4-1) in the Monrovia Stakes (Race 10).

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