ARCADIA, CA – Agave Racing Stable’s Bowies Hero managed to get up just in time to take home Tuesday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile Stakes at Santa Anita.
Breaking well from post 5 under Kent Desormeaux, Bowies Hero settled inside and stalked the pace set by Kroy through opening fractions of :23.54, :47.09, and 1:10.49. Hitting the top of the stretch, Kroy initially looked to kick clear from the field, but Desormeaux soon went to work on Bowies Hero. Inside the 1/8-mile marker, Desormeaux angled Bowies Hero out from behind Kroy and made a strong bid to bridge the gap, passing Kroy in the final three jumps before the wire. The Phil D’Amato-trained bay colt won by a 1/2-length in a final time of 1:33.46 over the grass.
“Phil D’Amato did a great job in getting him ready,” Desormeaux said. “I don’t deserve the credit, he does. This horse had fire in his eyes. He refused to lose. At the 1/16-pole, I didn’t think we had a chance, but he saw that tail in front of him and he mowed him down.”
Though Kroy was caught late, he was much the best of the rest. Favored Big Score broke a bit slow and never threatened, finishing 3 1/4 lengths back in third. Colonist was a length past B Squared in fourth, with Hootie, Holiday Stone, and Harbour Master completing the order of finish.
The victory was Bowies Hero’s first in a graded stakes race, though he has three ungraded stakes wins at Del Mar and Santa Anita on his resume. The 3-year-old son of Artie Schiller now has career earnings of $381,325 with a record of 11-5-0-2.
“I loved what Kent was doing,” D’Amato said. “He was saving ground and sitting in behind a couple other horses. He bided his time and rode him very confidently and was able to push by. I’m very proud of this horse … very proud of the way he finished up the year.”
Bowies Hero returned $8.80 to win, $5 to place, and $3.20 to show. Kroy brought back $7.60 to place and $4.60 to show, while Big Score paid $2.40 to show.