Shoemaker Mile Stakes
I'm extremely excited to see how this race turns out. Turf milers have always been a favorite of mine and this clash is basically only missing Kip Deville. It could end up being a mini preview of the Breeders' Cup Mile. I think that Hyperbaric, Ever A Friend and Thousand Words could all be champion class milers but this race will be the acid test. Ever A Friend was colossal in the Kilroe and if he returns to that form here it could be another open lengths triumph for the late developing son of Crafty Friend. He looks like he's in sharp form but the 9/5 price is not that enticing. He's a horse I'd rather watch and hope to play down the line rather than take short odds here. The one downside on him is that his last race more or less came out of the blue so despite the layoff (to avoid a potential bounce) there is always the risk that the Kilroe was not his real form. Hyperbaric is a horse I'm truly excited about. He also ran a best lifetime effort last time when losing the Arcadia but he is an undeveloped horse in expert hands. If he runs well here he may prove to be the next good thing in this division. I think the price is square on him and this is his chance to shine. I expect a huge effort. Because of the pace with Get Funky and Mast Track I'm not as high on Daytona. He's good but I think the true milers will get to him. Pace is also something that might play into the hands of Thousand Words. I think he represents excellent value coming into the race off some poor performances on different surfaces. We now know he isn't as good on those tracks but he is still a formidable horse on the grass and the pace should set up well for him. I expect him to be blasting past most of the field in the lane. Whether he gets there or not is a tight call.