LEXINGTON, KY – A perfectly-timed ride and a clean trip were the difference-makers for trainer Phil D’Amato’s Bowies Hero, who got up in the shadow of the wire to win Saturday’s $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.
The Shadwell Turf Mile is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Bowies Hero receiving an automatic berth in the TVG Mile at Santa Anita Park this November.
Breaking from post 5 under Flavien Prat at 8/1 odds, Bowies Hero took back and settled a lane off the rail in midpack heading into the clubhouse turn. Up front, Diamond Oops and Real Story dueled through opening fractions of :23.50, :47.23, and 1:11.04.
Still running comfortably amidst the tightly-packed field of 14, Bowies Hero tipped out to run three-wide in the far turn. Straightening out in the stretch, Bowies Hero bumped slightly with Vintager but soon began gobbling up ground on the front pack.
Collaring the leaders inside the last 1/16, Bowies Hero surged late and hit the wire 3/4 of a length clear. He completed the mile event over the firm turf course in a final time of 1:34.20.
“I thought I had a good trip,” Prat said. “My horse broke well. I was able to put myself in the race, was able to tip him out around the turn and get him ready to make his run, and then he got the job done. He always gives you everything he has.”
A mad scramble for second between eight horses resulted in several photo finishes. Just a nose separated Diamond Oops in second from Suedois, First Premio, March to the Arch, and Next Shares, with just another 1/2-length back to Divisidero and a dead-heat for eighth consisting of Van Beethoven and Bandua.
Completing the order of finish came the 2/1 favorite Valid Point, Admission Office, Vintager, Robin of Navan, and an empty Real Story. Emaraaty and Get Western were scratched after being unable to make the overdrawn field as Also-Eligible entries.
Bowies Hero’s win was his second in his past three starts, having won the Eddie Read Stakes (G2) while going 1 1/8 miles over the Del Mar turf on July 21. The 5-year-old son of Artie Schiller improved his record to 21-8-1-3 with $1,478,970 earned for co-owners Agave Racing Stable, ERJ Racing, and Madaket Stables.
“We’ve always had the confidence in this horse,” said assistant trainer Josh Flores. “He’s had some tough trips. Today, Flavien was able to put him in the right spot and he was able to fly home.”
Bowies Hero returned $18.40 to win, $8.80 to place, and $6.60 to show. Diamond Oops brought back $13 to place and $8.80 to show, while Suedois paid $11.80 to show.