Photo: Hollywood Park
Mr Gruff, seeking to stretch his talents to two
turns, and Riviera Cocktail, looking to make a mark in graded stakes company,
worked on the turf Sunday morning for the $250,000 Grade I Shoemaker Mile
on May 31.
Mr Gruff, winner of his last four starts on the
hillside turf course at Santa Anita--including the last two runnings of the San
Simeon Handicap--worked seven furlongs in 1:26.40 under exercise rider Jose
“The distance should be no problem,” said Ellis. “My
only concern is he doesn’t seem to like this grass as much as he did the grass
at Santa Anita. I expect to see him on the lead. He’s used to going (the first
half) in 43 and change.”
Riviera Cocktail worked four furlongs in 50.80 to the
satisfaction of trainer Neil Drysdale, a three-time Shoemaker winner. The
4-year-old colt is unbeaten in two starts on the Hollywood Park turf at
the Shoemaker distance of one mile.
A field of six to nine is taking shape. Probable are
Compari (Joel Rosario), Gallant Son (Mike Smith), Karelian (Rafael Bejarano),
Monterey Jazz (Tyler Baze), Mr Gruff (Joe Talamo) and Riviera Cocktail (Alonso
Heading a list of possibles are Blue Chagall, Global
Hunter and Tangled Tango.
Karelian, winner of the Grade I Makers Mark Mile in
his last start at Keeneland, is scheduled to be flown here Wednesday. Trainer
Rusty Arnold said a final work for the 8-year-old gelding at Keeneland was
postponed from today until Monday because of heavy rain.