Bowling Green (Grade 2)- $250.000 Purse
SAR- For Four Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and Three Eighths on the Inner Turf
July 31, 2022
The Bowling Green will go down as a memorable race, not because of the winner, but because of the way the pacesetters turned on the afterburners at the start of the race. The ultimate winner, Afterburner, did not want any part of the what they were doing on the front end and it would be the right call! The gelding has not paid immediate dividends for his trainer, Arindel, since he was a $500.000 private sales purchase, but he had been on good form of late and that carried on to the Bowling Green here at the Spa. For both Arindel and jockey J S Rocco Jr, it is their first win in the race. The time of the win was 2:11.89, not one of the quicker times, but all that was needed. Let’s take a look!
(½ Mile- :45.08)- They’re off! And boy, are they ever off! Never Met Me, trained by Mb Stables powers out to the lead from the gate, opening up a two length lead over two stalkers. That’s not necessarily unusual, as Lets Do It Big Boy holds the second spot for RNP Stables and Lord City runs third on the rail for Our Athletes. Then, the big board showed the opening half went in just a tick above 45-seconds. There’s a huge gap to the rest of the field, with the leader’s stablemate, Rotarian running in the fourth spot. Right beside him, we have the eventual winner, Arindel’s Afterburner, and from the race’s I have seen with this type of gap on a quick pace, the lead horse of the second, or trailing pack, often is really in the drivers seat. With that in mind, both Rotarian and Afterburner were ideally positioned. Would it pay off for them? After them, it was a break of two to Two In The Chamber (TwinTowersRacing), Billy Joel (La Canada Racehorses), and Winter Solstice (John Henry). It’s another length to Buffalo G (Nakamura Stables), and from there the viewer doesn’t allow me to move back to see everyone else. French Style (Royalty Stables), Blue Koala (D J C Racing Stables), and Tiger Claw (London Racing) is the rest of the order.
(3/4 Mile- 1:08.60)- Around the clubhouse turn and into the backstretch, it’s Never Met Me showing he could be a great six furlong horse, handing that distance in this continued fast pace. Lets Do It Big Boy and Lord City are wishing their trainers, presumably, did not give a stalk instruction (assuming they did, of course). That big gap to fourth still exists with Rotarian a length or so ahead of Afterburner, as these two are the ones to really be watching at this point. Further back, the rest of the field certainly was not getting the race they were expecting.
(Top of 1.8F To Go)- Never Met Me continues to hold the lead down the backstretch and around the final turn. His lead entering the stretch is about two and a half lengths as he opens up a little more on Lets Do It Big Body while Lord City begins to bow out of it. A little further back, Afterburner would complete the pass of Rotarian at the very top of the turn, putting him in the driver’s seat now as the early pace predictably collapses. Billy Joel also handled the turn well, and made the pass of Rotarian, but gaining ground on Afterburner was going to be tough. If there was anyone in this field who could do it, he would be the one, though. Everyone else was way back to get the likes of Afterburner and Billy Joel at this point, since they would be the key horses to watch now.
(Finish- 2:11.89)- In the stretch, both Afterburner and Billy Joel looked like race cars passing lapped down traffic on a superspeedway. But, ultimately, they would need to decide this race between themselves, and Afterburner was doing all he could to hold off the one time BC Champion. Never Met Me held on as good as he could, and actually was able to be a part of the three way photo for the win, but it is Afterburner and Billy Joel claiming the top two spots ahead of him. Lets Do It Big Boy had enough to remain fourth, with Tiger Claw and Buffalo G finishing in the top half of the field but were hardly visible on the viewer the whole time. Rounding it out, it’s Two In The Chamber, Blue Koala, Winter Solstice, Rotarian, Lord City, and French Style.
About The Winner- Afterburner, trained by Arindel and ridden to victory by J S Rocco Jr, is a four year old gelding by Pinnacle West and is out of Creepy Nightmare. He was bred by Fractious in New York as a second quarter two year old, and acquired by Arindel for $500.000 in a February 2021 private sale. The win is his fifth in 27 starts, his fourth stake win and third graded win. His career earnings are now $956.000.
Time: :451 1:083 1:323 2:114
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 5 – 6 Paid 164.70
$1 Trifecta: 5 – 6 – 10 Paid 675.30
Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES