Victoria-AUS (VIC) – Sunday, September 16, 2018 — 3:00:00 PM EST
The Golden Shoe – 6 Furlongs on Turf
Grade I — Purse : $1,500,000
Restricted to 2 Year Olds
Juvenile turf sprinters take to the gate in Australia for a share of the $1.5 million purse in the Golden Shoe. Three starters seem to have separated themselves from the field this season: the lone filly Invincible Irish, Choose Your Dream, and Excel Home. However, as with any two-year-old race, there are plenty of unanswered questions about the field that could lead to a surprising result.
Choose Your Dream (6/1) is the second-favorite with an impressive string of results with a Grade II win to his name and a runner-up finish at the Grade I Firebird in early August. He looks to move up a spot in this rematch against the winner of that race, Invincible Irish, who snapped an unbeaten streak of three wins dating back to the Redoute’s Choice colt’s very first start back in January.
Next in line is Paint by Cadet (9/1), winner of the Test the Slew Turf Juvenile who struggled moving up to Grade I level in his start just three weeks ago at the Blue Diamond Road. This is a repeat attempt in Victoria, however, so maybe familiarity with the course will prove to be an advantage.
Dream Magic Dunn (13/1) tends to break late in races and has finished in the top two of every start so far. However, the lone win came in a maiden allowance in New Mexico back in the spring and this will be the longest odds he has faced so far. One of seven Aussie-breds in the field, his pedigree indicates that longer distances may be in the future.
Invincibone (11/1) finished second at the Grade II Jimcrack in mid-August after over five months off the track. His connections may be hoping that added rest will pay off again with another big jump in form.
In the fifth position is Excel Home (7/1), who has followed a more standard progression of races than some of the others in the field this year. Eight starts, gradually increasing in quality from maiden races in the late winter through the allowance circuit, listed stakes, runner-up at the Grade III Railaway and now back-to-back Grade II and Grade I victories. His connections may be feeling a bit underestimated with the longer odds for an already-accomplished horse. If he wins, it will be gate-to-wire.
Lawbolt (12/1) is another starter who looks to improve on a prior Grade I finish. He came in sixth behind Choose Your Dream and Invincible Irish on that occasion but does have a listed stakes win over a smaller field to his name from June.
The early odds really like Alottafun (9/1), who only broke his maiden in the previous race on dirt last month. It generated a very impressive time after other efforts on turf came up just short but he still lacks the experience of several other starters in this field.
Ranamuse (23/1) has not won since May and is moving up from the listed stakes level, but could just snag a top-three finish with the perfect race. His only time finishing off the board came on dirt and since then the turf has been much kinder.
Kapral Snitzel (11/1) is the offspring of a Grade II winning mare who expertise was just a bit longer than this race. If he comes up just a bit short after a late charge down the stretch, we may have further indication that this is a top seven-furlong horse waiting to happen.
Alacosta (14/1) finished second at the Grade II Vintage with some of the longer odds in the field. He’ll need to surprise once again on Sunday if a top finish is in store.
In the eleventh spot, Vega Pass (12/1) brings a strange race history. Still a maiden after four tries, his connections started him in the ungraded Racing HQ Golden Boot to make his very first victory come with a blue-and-yellow SW sticker. Now he travels outside New South Wales for the first time looking for another big challenge.
Invincible Irish (5/1) is your favorite. Winner of the afore-mentioned Grade I Firebird as well as the Grade II Cherry Hilton. This is another two-year-old who has found success after first coming up short on dirt. The prior start was her first attempt against the boys, which she won going away from a field just as impressive as the one that starts here.
Guesia (8/1) is the final starter who also looks to come off the back of the similar Grade I race in Ireland. She finished in third, 4-3/4 lengths back of Invincible Irish at the Firebird and 3-1/2 behind Choose Your Dream.
Rounding out the field is De Lorien (27/1). He really struggled in the rain at the Grade III Cyborg last time out. Luckily, conditions for this race look to be similar to his second-place finish at the Grade III Triple P so he may not be quite a big a long-shot as the odds project.
- Invincible Irish
- Excel Home
- Choose Your Dream