Las Vegas, NV - Belmont Park in Elmont, New York is back on the horse racing radar and this Saturday, September 7 it will stage the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap. Horses three years old and upward will be features as they go 1 1/4 miles on Belmont Park's turf track for a $200,000 purse.
A field of just six will line up in the Bowling Green Handicap - race 8 on Belmont Park's Saturday card. Post time is 4:45 PM. Let's take a brief glance into the past performances of all six combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
Boisterous -has won seven of his last 14 starts for trainer Shug McGaughey including the 2011 and 2012 Grade 3 Red Smith Stakes at Aqueduct and the 2011 and 2012 Knickerbocker Stakes also at Aqueduct. His worst performance in a year came last time out however - an eighth in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga August 17 after wins in the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes June 9 and in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes July 13 at Belmont Park. Before those wins were second place finishes in the Grade 3 Ben Ali in April and the Grade 3 River City Handicap in November and another couple of wins. He now has four wins and two seconds in his last seven starts overall and will be looking for a bounce back on Saturday. He is most accomplished in the field, will carry the top weight of 122 pounds and will have John Velazquez in the saddle from the rail.
Hyper - Chad Brown entry has 20 career starts with nine wins, five seconds and two third place finishes. He is coming off win in the minor John's Call Stakes at Saratoga July 31 after a very nice second to London Lane in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Colonial Turf Cup in June, a good second behind Teaks North in the minor Good Reward Stakes here May 14, a third in the Dave Stakes at Aqueduct in April and an Allowance Optional Claiming score in March. He has placed in six straight ahead of the Bowling Green - looking good indeed. Javier Castellano will be in the saddle from post 4 on a horse that is a legitimate threat to win it all Saturday.
London Lane - came out of nowhere and won the Grade 2 Colonial Turf Cup at 50-1 odds over Hyper June 22 after just one win in the last two years - an Allowance Optional Claiming at Delaware Park July 4 2012. Before that improbable win was an eighth and a seventh respectively in a pair of minor stakes races to end 2012 at Laurel Park, followed by a sixth in an Allowance in April at Pimlico to start 2013. Last time out he was unable to parlay his Colonial Turf success finishing sixth in his first ever Grade 1 start - the Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga August 17. He starts from post 3 with Jose Ortiz in the saddle.
Farhaan - Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt makes his second start on North American soil after a very good debut August 15 - an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Saratoga. He failed to place in his previous four starts in England before shipping however but did have two wins and a second in his first three career starts as a very promising two year old. He is the most intriguing of the foreign entries despite some so-so results lately.
Quick Casablanca - Christophe Clement trained Argentinean trained entry had 11 career starts in Argentina with three wins, six seconds and two third place finishes. He won two of his last three starts in Argentina before shipping to North America including a Grade 1 race at Hipodromo Argentino De Palmero last March and has three starts in North America with OK results. Last time out was a third behind Hyper in the minor John's Call Stakes at Saratoga July 31 after an eighth in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap here June 7 and a third in the minor Good Reward Stakes also on this track in May. His good results in North America have come on turf - exactly where the Bowling Green is being held Saturday.
Finnegans Wake - Dale Romans trained colt is won an Allowance at Churchill Downs June 30 2012 and has placed in only three of seven since including a third in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby and a second in the Grade 1 Secretariat at Arlington Park August 18 of last year. He also had a fourth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic in September and a seventh in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes in November. He enters off three straight fourth place finishes - last time out in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions, in the Man o' War Stakes and in the competitive Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap June 8. He has placed in just one of his last six starts overall but does have four fourth place finishes over that span. Finnegans Wake has been knocking on the door but just can't seem to break through.