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Blue Chagall Ready for Shoemaker

Hollywood Park logo.
Photo: Hollywood Park

Trainer Julio Canani hopes the pace is fast for his stretch-running Blue Chagall as the veteran conditioner seeks a record-equaling fourth victory in the $250,000 Grade I Shoemaker Mile on the turf Monday at Hollywood Park.


“Blue Chagall worked Monday and is doing great,” said Canani Thursday. “There is a lot of speed in the race, and that should help.”


Blue Chagall, a French-bred 5-year-old gelding named for a famous French artist, will be ridden by French-born Brice Blanc. He won the Group III Prix des Chenes at Longchamp in 2007 and the Lure Stakes at one mile at Santa Anita in October.


Canani seeks to tie trainer Jim Nazworthy, who won the race four times from 1959-66 when it was called the Premiere Handicap. The Peruvian-born Canani has been the dominant trainer in the Shoemaker during the last decade. In addition to victories by Silic in 1999 and 2000 and Ladies Din in 2002, Canani has also finished second with Special Ring in 2003, Charmo in 2006 and Hyperbaric last year--a head behind winner Thorn Song--and third with Tsigane in 2004 and Hyperbaric in 2008.


Expected to join Blue Chagall in the Shoemaker are Inglewood Handicap winner Gallant Son (Mike Smith), Arcadia Handicap winner Compari (Joel Rosario), San Simeon Handicap winner Mr Gruff (Joe Talamo), Eddie Read Handicap winner Global Hunter (Omar Berrio), Tangled Tango (Victor Espinoza) and Kentucky invader Karelian (Rajiv Maragh).


Karelian stood in a corner stall in Barn 70 North Thursday and attacked a bale of hay as aggressively as groom Claudio Cortez hopes he will go after his Shoemaker rivals.


“He flew from Kentucky to Texas to here yesterday and got in around 3 p.m.,” said Cortez of the horse who had been based at Keeneland. “He shipped good and walked this morning. He’s perfect, 100 per cent. I don’t think he’s going to lose.”


Cortez has been the groom of the 8-year-old gelding for most of his six-year career on the track and is used to traveling. Karelian, victorious in 10 of 21 starts, has started at 11 different tracks. He has won at seven of them.


Karelian, a Kentucky-bred son of Bertrando, is trained by Rusty Arnold for owner-breeder Green Lantern Stables. He won the Grade I Makers Mark Mile at Keeneland in his last start on April 9.   


John Harris, co-owner and co-breeder of California-bred Compari, was on hand to see the 4-year-old gelding work four furlongs in 47.80 seconds on Cushion Track for trainer Marty Jones in quest of his seventh straight victory.


Trainer Craig Dollase said that Monterey Jazz would be forced to skip the Shoemaker because of an unspecified injury.

 

 

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