Victor’s Cry, who won the Shoemaker Mile as a 21-1 longshot
last year, will earn more respect at the windows when he defends his title in
the $250,000 Grade I turf test at Hollywood Park Saturday. But the 6-year-old
ridgling will still have his work cut out for him.
“It’s a big ask to bring a horse back from Dubai,” said Alex
Elliott, assistant to trainer Eoin Harty, Sunday of Victor’s Cry, who finished
fifth in his last start in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes on March 26.
“He runs well fresh and we’ll keep our fingers crossed,”
said Elliott. “His last work is tomorrow. He’s been working fine.”
Elliott thought Victor’s Cry could have finished closer in
Dubai in a field of 16. “He went outside turning into the stretch and the
winner went inside, and he got beat four lengths,” said Elliott.
Victor’s Cry, owned by Equilete Stable, has shown a fondness
for the Hollywood Park turf. He came back to win the Citation Handicap on it
last fall and has posted three wins in five starts on it.
Victor’s Cry, a Virginia-bred son of Street Cry, seeks to
become the first winner to repeat in the Shoemaker since Silic in 1999 and
“Courageous Cat will be tough to beat,” said Elliott of the
respected invader scheduled to ship here Wednesday from New York. The
5-year-old horse comes off a facile score in the Grade III Poker Stakes at one
mile on the Belmont
turf June 10 for trainer Bill Mott. Courageous Cat is a royally-bred horse by
Storm Cat out of Grade I stakes winner Tranquility Lake,
owned and bred by Marty and Pam Wygod.
A field of seven is probable for the Shoemaker: Victor’s Cry
(Victor Espinoza), Courageous Cat (Patrick Valenzuela), Caracortado (Joe
Talamo), Liberian Freighter (Martin Garcia), Smokey Lonesome (Rafael Bejarano),
Blue Chagall (Joel Rosario) and Ashtar (Martin Pedroza).
Blue Chagall worked a bullet five furlongs in 58.80 on the
main track for three-time Shoemaker-winning trainer Julio Canani. Smokey Lonesome,
victorious in three of his last four starts, drilled four furlongs on turf in
48.80 for trainer Art Sherman.
Ashtar, a Group I winner in Chile, is scheduled to make his
United States debut for trainer Ruben Cardenas.