D J C Racing Stables bookends the $250.000 Bowling Green Handicap at SAR for four-year-olds and upward to be run at 1 3/8 miles on the inner turf course Saturday with a pair of four-year-olds Penitentiary and Devilish Luck. Of the two, Devilish Luck seems the stronger, in fact, seems the outstanding choice in this field of seven runners. In his last appearance he came from far back to finish within a neck of victory in the grade 1 Manhattan at BEL over 1 ¼ miles on their inner turf course with an impressive 101 SRF rating. Penitentiary looks to be part of the crowd at the wire off a sturdy run in The Poker Stakes at BEL last month. The question for this lad is the distance of the race. At the mile of the Poker, he finished well, albeit a bit slowly, but the race before was the 1 3/8 mile Man o War where he quite in the late part of the race, so will the distance of this race do him under?
Another with two entries in this race is Mb Stables, Grounded In Reality and Crafty Shenanigans. Both registered third place finishes in graded races last out. Although in a grade 3 compared to stablemate’s grade 2, Grounded In Reality scored a 97 SRF in The Poker Stakes closing gamely through the stretch, making the four-year-old look like a strong contender here. Again the added distance may be problematic. Crafty Shenanigans, on the other hand, is a distance loving four-year-old with extensive long-distance experience, including a strong late run in the BC Turf. In spite of my hesitation with this lad, he looks to be the second favourite in this field.
Wolfs Den’s well experienced five-year-old, Not My Idea, earned his way in here with an easy romp in an overnight event at MTH earlier this month at 1 ½ miles. After running up the track in the 5 ½ furlong grade 2 Shakertown at KEE, his connections decided to stretch him back out and he hasn’t finished worse than second since. It’s a step up, but he looks the dark horse in this race.
Nakamura Stables lightly-raced Danke Schon broke hearts and wallets with an eighth-place finish as the favourite in the grade 2 Dixie Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the turf at PIM in May. The race before was a strong-closing second at 1 1/8 miles, so it appears his connections are testing to see if the longer race will help him. Hawaiian Shirt Guy picked up Exactly As Planned for $40.000 after he disappointed in the grade 3 Fort Marcy at 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf at BAL in May. Connections tried him out in a one mile overnighter at MTH, which didn’t go well, so here is trying out a longer run which is much more his forte.
The way it looks to me is Devilish Luck should have a fairly easy time in this spot off that very impressive run last out with Grounded In Reality providing a late run for second and Penitentiary with a small upset in third.
SAR Race 9
1 3/8 on turf 4 yo up Bowling Green Handicap Purse: $250.000
Horse Owner Odds SRF
Devilish Luck D J C Racing Stables *6-5 101
Grounded In Reality Mb Stables 4-1 97
Penitentiary D J C Racing Stables 5-1 95
Not My Idea Wolfs Den 6-1 95
Crafty Shenanigans Mb Stables 3-1 93
Danke Schon Nakamura Stables 12-1 81
Exactly As Planned Hawaiian Shirt Guy 15-1 84