Papo Picks the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland
Race 9 Shadwell Turf Mile – Keeneland
First run in 1986, the Shadwell Turf Mile has always been one of the fall highlights at Keeneland. Notable winners include the inaugural winner Leprechauns Wish, Gio Ponti – who won it back to back in 2010 and 2011- and two-time Horse of the Year, Wise Dan, who won this race twice in 2012 and then again in 2014. This year’s race drew an outstanding field of 11 horses looking to cross the wire first and claim their “Win and You’re In” entry into the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
While your morning line favorite is Tourist (3-1), I believe the horse that will actually be the favorite at post time is Mondialiste (6-1). The six-year-old by Galileo is a world traveler as he has raced in Hong Kong, France, Great Britain, Canada and the United States. He is coming off an excellent performance at Arlington Park, where he won the Grade 1 Arlington Million. Two starts back, he ran a game second to Time Test, a proven European router, in the Grade 2 Sky Bet York Stakes in England. In 2015 he won the Woodbine Mile, then followed up that performance with a second to Tepin in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at this track. It is for those reasons I believe he will be bet down to the favorite. He is a logical contender in this race and I fully expect him to run well but I will take a stand against him for win honors. His last two races have been at route distances and, although he has won at the mile distance, I am not sure his closing style is going to work with the pace dynamics of this race.
The speed of the race is What a View (6-1) who is shipping in from California. Breaking from the outside post, he will be sent to the front and play the try-and-catch-me game. He is dangerous – if he gets loose on the lead he could wire the field. That being, said I will relegate him to a minor share as he is coming off a six-month layoff and his recent wins were on California turf courses labeled good and yielding, which may have helped his cause in those races.
Tourist, whose price should float up a bit from the morning line, breaks just inside of What a View and should be sitting not too far off the early speed. The son of Tiznow is coming off a winning performance in the Grade 1 Fourstardave at Saratoga. Two back, he was a solid second to Midnight Storm in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita. He is four-for-nine at the one-mile distance and has the tactical speed to sit a good stalking trip. He has run well at Keeneland but has failed to cross the wire first in three starts. For that reason, he will be a “B” on my multi-race bets.
Another “B” for me in this race is Tower of Texas, who somehow is the 20-1 on the morning line. I am not going to complain about his price because it spells value with a dollar sign. The five-year-old son of Street Sense ran an outstanding second to the world class Tepin last time out in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile. While he has failed to find the winner’s circle in his four starts this year, he has run second three times and finished third. His last two Bris speed figures are some of the highest in his career, a sign he may be improving with age. He likes to race mid-pack but will have to maintain contact with the rest of the field. He does not want to be left with too much to do in a race where there is only one primary speed horse. He has spent his entire career racing at Woodbine and you never know how a horse is going to respond to be shipped, but you do get Leparoux in the saddle and the price is just too good to pass up.
As far as my “A” horses in this race, I landed on Ironicus (4-1) and Ring Weekend (5-1). Ironicus is a personal fave of mine and will be the horse I will key in my vertical wagers. By Distorted Humor, Ironicus has been a model of constancy his entire career. How can you not love a horse that has finished in the exacta in 11 of 13 career starts? He is coming into this race off a three-month layoff, which is a bit of a concern but he shows a steady diet of workouts coming in and has proven he can run well fresh out of the stall. His last two races have been at route distances but he has shown a superb turn of foot that should have him flying coming down the stretch. Let’s hope Jose Ortiz has him within striking distance turning for home and then applies the afterburners.
Ring Weekend, my other “A”, has a more tactical speed than Ironicus and, like Tourist, should sit a good stalking trip. The five-year-old Tapit gelding is coming off a record-setting performance in the Bernard Baruch at Saratoga. He has been lightly raced this year but this will be his third start off the layoff, a profitable betting angle. While he does lose his regular pilot in John Velazquez (riding in New York), you do get Junior Alvarado who should be okay in this spot.
The Shadwell Mile is a great betting race. Make sure you pay attention to the tote board because there is value to be had.