Courageous Cat Visits California for Shoemaker

Courageous Cat top story.
Second in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Mile in his only previous visit to California, Courageous Cat will seek the first Grade I victory of his career in the $300,000 Shoemaker Mile Saturday at Hollywood Park.

The 68th running of the turf race is the richer of two Grade I events to be offered Saturday. A quality field of sprinters will tangle in the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap at seven furlongs over Cushion Track.

Post time Saturday is 1 p.m. The Shoemaker is the sixth of 10 races. The Triple Bend is the ninth.

Named in honor of the legendary jockey, who won 2,416 races at Hollywood Park, the Shoemaker Mile is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In’’ race. The winner is guaranteed a spot in the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile, which will be run Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.

Additionally, the Breeders’ Cup nominated Shoemaker Mile winner will have pre-entry and entry fees waived for the BC Mile and receive a $10,000 travel allowance.

Owned by breeders Pam and Marty Wygod and trained by Bill Mott, Courageous Cat arrives from New York after beginning his 5-year-old campaign with a 2 ¼ length win in the Grade III Poker Stakes June 11 at Belmont Park.

A son of Storm Cat and the Rahy mare Tranquility Lake, Courageous Cat has won five of 12 and earned $781,300. He was defeated by a half-length by the brilliant Goldikova when runner-up in the 2009 BC Mile at Santa Anita.

Success in a turf Grade I at Hollywood Park would not be something new for Mott. The Hall of Fame trainer won the 2008 Hollywood Derby with Court Vision. Earlier victories include Duda in the 1995 Matriarch and Fraise in the 1992 Hollywood Turf Cup.

One of Courageous Cat’s opponents is defending champion Victor’s Cry, who rallied from well off the pace to win at 21-1 last year.

Owned by Equilete Stable and trained by Eoin Harty, Victor’s Cry, who has earned half of his six victories on the Hollywood Park grass, will attempt to become the first repeat winner since Silic went back-to-back in 1999 and 2000.

An earner of $726,021 in 23 starts, Victor’s Cry, a 6-year-old Street Cry ridgling out of the Clever Trick mare Short Time, will be making his first appearance since finishing fifth in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free March 26 at Meydan Race Course in the United Arab Emirates.

Caracortado returns to turf after finishing sixth – defeated by only three-quarters of a length – in the Alysheba Stakes May 6 at Churchill Downs.

Owned by Blahut Racing and Hi Lo Racing and trained by Mike Machowsky, who also bred the gelding, Caracortado has won seven of 14. The son of Cat Dreams and the Maria’s Mon mare Mons Venus has earned $558,105.

Liberian Freighter will be seeking his sixth win on the Hollywood Park turf. A 6-year-old gelded son of Bertrando and the Slewpy mare Anachristina, the California bred is owned by breeder King Edward Racing Stable, Shawn Dugan and Charles Winner and trained by Neil Drysdale.

A winner of 10 of 28 with earnings of $736,740, Liberian Freighter won consecutive graded races earlier in the year,  including the Grade III Inglewood Handicap April 24. He finished fifth of six in the American Handicap in his most recent appearance May 28.

 Julio Canani will be represented by Blue Chagall as the trainer aims for a record-tying fourth win in the Shoemaker.  Canani, who has won previously with Ladies Din (2002) and the aforementioned Silic will attempt to equal the mark held by James Nazworthy.

Owned by Prestonwood Farm, Blue Chagall, a French bred son of Testa Rosa and the Pitskelly mare Eloisey, has won six of 31. The 6-year-old gelding has earned $373,649, but is without a graded win in the United States. He won a Group III as a 2-year-old in his native country in 2007.

Smokey Lonesome, who has won two of five on this layout, will make his first graded appearance on turf for owners Bruce Chandler and Stuart Tsujimoto and trainer Art Sherman. The 5-year-old Teton Forest gelding and the Alysheba mare Exclusive Symbol has won four of 12 and earned $182,610.

Ashtar will make his first start in this country after winning six of 14 in his native Chile. Owned by Green Grass Stable and trained by Ruben Cardenas, the 4-year-old Merchant of Venice colt and the Hussonet mare Mey has banked $167,517.

From inside out, the field for the Shoemaker Mile: Courageous Cat, Patrick Valenzuela rides, 124 pounds; Blue Chagall, Joel Rosario, 124; Smokey Lonesome, Rafael Bejarano, 124; Ashtar, Martin Pedroza, 124; Caracortado, Joe Talamo, 124; Victor’s Cry, Victor Espinoza, 124 and Liberian Freighter, Martin Garcia, 124.



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Older Comments about Courageous Cat Visits California for Shoemaker...

The last time I saw Courageous Cat race was last October when he finished 3rd behind Gio Ponti in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keenland. Ran a very respectable race that day!! Also remember Courageous Cat running a very decent race at Meydan in the 2010 Dubai Duty Free that was won by Al Shemali. All of the American horses, I.E., Take The Points, Courageous Cat, and The Usual Q.T. all ran a decent Duty Free that year. C
Looking at headline pic that HRN put, CC want to be mischievous, the jockey is in trouble.
I admire the built of most of storm cat foals. They are beastly looking.

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