A powerful stretch run carried Jeranimo to an 8-1 upset in the Grade
I, $300,000 Shoemaker Mile Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
By virtue of his third win in four starts over the Betfair Hollywood
Park turf course, Jeranimo earned himself an automatic berth in the
Breeders’ Cup Mile, which will be run Nov. 3 at Santa Anita.
Additionally, as part of prevailing in the Breeders’ Cup “Win and
You’re In’’ event, the pre-entry and entry fees will be waived for
Jeranimo and owner B.J. Wright will receive a $10,000 travel allowance.
Victimized by a slow pace when the beaten choice in the Grade III
San Francisco April 28 at Golden Gate Fields, Jeranimo, who trailed
almost the entire journey, got much quicker fractions (23.59, 46.40 and
1:09.81 for six furlongs) to chase Saturday and responded when called
upon by jockey Garrett Gomez.
Trained by Mike Pender, the 6-year-old Congaree horse completed the distance in 1:33.97 while winning by 1 ¼ lengths.
Out of the Jeblar mare Jera, Jeranimo has won eight of 28. The
$180,000 payday made him a millionaire. The Florida bred, who paid
$19.60, $8.40 and $4, has now banked $1,068,400.
“This is a hard trying horse,’’ said Gomez after his first Shoemaker
win. “He and I get along pretty well. We had a good trip today. We just
wound him up and made one little run with him.
“It was the right kind of race to do that. He’s been training really
well. He actually ran a winning race last time and just had a little
bad luck. I just let him find himself early on in the race and he came
home like I thought he would.’’
The Shoemaker Mile completed a four win day for Gomez, who also took
the first with Grumpy Small Mouth, the fifth with Swift Eagle and the
seventh with Jolly Days.
Wright was happy Jeranimo was reunited with Gomez, who had ridden
the bay to victory in the Grade II Citation Handicap last Nov. 26 in
their most recent collaboration before Saturday.
“(Pender) is in Europe,’’ said Wright. “He and his wife took a
vacation. We have the home field advantage now. This is a “Win and
You’re In’’ and the Breeders’ Cup is at Santa Anita. I like the home
field advantage (for the BC Mile Nov. 3). And we have Gomez. It can’t
get much better than that.
“He’s just a great race horse. He’s had some rides where the jockey
didn’t know him well, but Garrett seems to ride him really well. We’re
really happy with this jockey.’’
Suggestive Boy, a three-time Group I winner in his native Argentina,
was second in his United States debut for Hall of Fame trainer Ron
McAnally, finishing a half-length in front of pacesetter and 17-10
favorite Little Mike. Mr. Commons, the 2-1 second choice, was a neck
back in fourth.
Winner of the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the Kentucky
Derby undercard May 5 at Churchill Downs, Little Mike received some
early pressure from longshot Liberian Freighter, battled gamely in the
stretch, but couldn’t match the top pair nearing the finish.
Suggestive Boy, who, like the winner, was 8-1, returned $9.40 and
$6. The show price on Little Mike, who finished third for the first time
in his 18-race career, was $3.
“This is a serious horse,’’ said Joe Talamo of the runner-up. “He
definitely need the race, coming off a layoff. But to do that in a
Grade I like that, he’s going to be a real nice horse.’’
Corporate Jungle, Dubai You X Y Z, Hudson Landing and Liberian Freighter completed the order of finish.