Hong Kong Harry takes the Del Mar Mile (G2) Sep. 3 under Flavien Prat (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Santa Anita Stable Notes by Victor Ryan
ARCADIA, Calif.— Phil D’Amato plans to wheel back Hong Kong Harry in the GI Shoemaker Mile here May 29 following his second-place finish in last Saturday’s GI Turf Classic at Churchill Downs. The Shoemaker Mile is a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Mile this fall at Santa Anita.
In the 1 1/8-mile Turf Classic, Hong Kong Harry was second-last under Flavien Prat through the opening six furlongs. He launched a rally at the quarter pole but could not catch 5-2 favorite Up to the Mark for trainer Todd Pletcher.
On Friday morning, D’Amato said multiple graded-stakes winner Hong Kong Harry emerged from the race in good order. The Turf Classic was his first start outside of Southern California since his arrival from Europe early last year.
“I thought he ran a good race,” D’Amato said. “He ran up against a really nice Todd Pletcher horse, but he was a valiant second. Hopefully we can get him to the Shoemaker and win a ‘Win and You’re In.’”
D’Amato’s other starter in the Turf Classic, 13-1 longshot Earls Rock, was forwardly placed early but faded to seventh. The 5-year-old Irish-bred gelding will be freshened for races later in the year, D’Amato said.
Also at Churchill Downs last Saturday, D’Amato started Motorious in the GII Turf Sprint going 5 ½ furlongs on the Kentucky Derby undercard. He finished second with Prat aboard. Motorious had just one horse beat early in the 10-horse field before rallying to lose by just three-quarters of a length by 38-1 longshot Nobals.
“I thought he ran a good race,” D’Amato said. “He got into a little traffic trouble at the top of the lane. If he had a little cleaner trip he may have got there. But he ran big. We’ll probably freshen him up now for Del Mar.”