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Little Mike in California for Shoemaker Mile

little mike
Trainer Dale Romans is aiming to capture his second win in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile next Saturday with Florida-bred Little Mike.

Romans shipped Thorn Song to Southern California for a victory in the 2009 Shoemaker Mile and will be represented next Saturday with Priscilla Vaccarezza’s Little Mike.

“He’s already on the grounds,” Romans said by telephone. “He’s in Tom Proctor’s barn and my wife Tammy is there with him.”

A 5-year-old gelding by Spanish Steps, Little Mike has won 10 of 13 on turf and six of eight at the Shoemaker distance.

In his last start, :Little Mike, who was bred in Florida by Vaccarezza’s husband, Carlo, captured the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Churchill Downs the race before I’ll Have Another’s Kentucky Derby win. He hasn’t been headed the first quarter-mile in his last 12 two-turn races.

“He’s a speed horse,” Romans confirmed.  “He’s fast and he has endurance. If anyone tries to run with him, they’ll pay the price.”

The trainer also indicated the “Win and You’re In” provision for guaranteed entry into the Breeders’ Cup (Mile Nov. 3 at Santa Anita) was a major factor in shipping the horse to Betfair Hollywood Park.

Romans has a large stable to oversee, but will make every effort to be on hand for the Shoemaker. Regular jockey Joe Bravo will ride.

–Hollywood Park Publicity contributed to this report.

Little Mike/Palmer photo