Sunday’s $200,000 Del Mar Mile H. (G2) pits front-running Shoemaker Mile (G1) upsetter Bolo against late-running Eddie Read (G2) winner Bowies Hero among a well-matched cast of 11 on the Jimmy Durante turf course.
Bolo had shown talent since his juvenile days, but a stop-start career and the inability to break through at the top level contributed to his going off at odds of 32-1 in the Shoemaker. Making just his second start back from a nearly two-year hiatus, the Carla Gaines veteran reached a new high in wire-to-wire fashion. New rider Florent Geroux guided him through solid fractions, and Bolo held sway in 1:34.07. Geroux is back aboard as the seven-year-old tries to string together back-to-back wins for the first time since 2014.
Bowies Hero, who rallied for third in the Shoemaker in his second start off the bench, came right back to capture the 1 1/8-mile Eddie Read. The son of Artie Schiller has historically been more effective at a mile – the distance of all five prior stakes wins including the 2018 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1). The 124-pound co-highweight along with Bolo, Bowies Hero keeps the red-hot Flavien Prat in the saddle.
The prospect of a pace scrum figures to help Bowies Hero. Aside from Bolo, other speedy types in the mix include What a View, now a fellow Phil D’Amato trainee; Argentine import El Picaro, who shortens up from a tiring fifth in the Arlington H. (G3) for Ignacio Correas; and Hall of Famer Richard Mandella’s Bombard, taking a class hike after wiring the Wickerr over the course.
Majestic Eagle comes off a breakthrough for Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale in the American (G3), where he rallied to deny Law Abidin Citizen and Sharp Samurai, subsequently fourth in the Eddie Read. Sharp Samurai, a multiple Grade 2 winner who was promoted to second in this race last year, has yet to regain the winning thread this term. Also exiting the Eddie Read is sixth-placer Ohio, yet to follow up on his surprise in the March 30 renewal of the Kilroe.
A total of three Kilroe winners is in the line-up, with What a View (2016) the oldest who came within a head of repeating the next year. Although the Cal-bred has been unplaced more often than not in the interim, he did garner the 2018 American for previous trainer Kenneth Black. And his recent third to Grecian Fire in the California Dreamin’ – his debut for D’Amato off an 11-month layoff – could bring him on here. D’Amato is triple-handed with comebacker Prince Earl, last seen finishing fourth in the Hollywood Derby (G1) December 1.
While Grecian Fire most recently scored in a Cal-restricted stakes, the Unusual Heat gelding sports a graded victory in the All American (G3) over the Golden Gate Tapeta. Rounding out the field is Double Touch, who adds blinkers after his sixth as the defending champion in the Wickerr.