A spot in the Breeders' Cup Turf Mile will be up for grabs on Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita in the only Grade I race of the weekend on the West Coast, the Shoemaker Mile.
A relatively small field is expected at the Shoemaker Mile due to the fact that few are going to want to run up against Ring Weekend. Clearly, this is the best colt in this field, and assuming that he does end up running, he'll be the easy favorite, likely of the odds on variety.
Next in line would be Bal A Bali, with Flamboyant and Winning Prize the next ones in line. The rest of the colts in this field aren't expected to be all that highly touted, though Midnight Storm will clearly get a bit of a boost after watching another offspring of his sire, Pioneer of The Nile did in a certain three races over the course of the last six weeks.
FAVORITE TO FOLLOW
Ring Weekend has five wins in his 14 races in his career, posting over $1 million in career earnings. He won the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes in March with ease in spite of the fact that he was just an 8 to 1 choice of the oddsmakers at the time.
Still, Ring Weekend has been blazing through workouts of late, and his return to the track here at Santa Anita after a bit of a layoff shouldn't hurt him at all. He's a closer by nature, and in a field with a ton of speed in it, he should be one of the only ones with fresh legs by the time this race is said and done with.
UNDERDOG TO WATCH
Midnight Storm won his only race of the year, an allowance optional claiming race in April here at Santa Anita, and that's a good sign for him going forward from here. He won the Del Mar Derby in his last race last year before getting his season cut off due to injury, but the fact that he blazed that 121 Beyer Speed Rating in his first race of 2015 is something which definitely begs to be watched.
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
Still, this day is going to be all about Ring Weekend. We know that Midnight Storm and Bal A Bali are going to be the ones out towards the front of the field in this race, and they are going to end up doing a lot of jostling for position.
We're not all that sure that the Brazilian-bred Bal A Bali is capable of winning races from wire to wire if that's the type of run he gets into, especially not if he has to run up against a colt with so much closing speed as Ring Weekend possesses.
This is another one of these races where we just don't see anyone getting rich, knowing that the favorite is going to be paying a cheap price, but for a minute and a half's worth of work, you could do a lot worse than this. Ring Weekend certainly looks like one of the more solid plays of the weekend across the Sport of Kings.
Play Ring Weekend to win the Shoemaker Mile
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