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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – In a frantic dash for the finish, two horses came out on top when Channel Maker got up just in time to finish in a dead heat with Glorious Empire in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green Stakes at Saratoga.
At the start, it was Channel Maker and Glorious Empire who together got to the early lead. Channel Maker quickly eased up giving Glorious Empire sole possession of the lead as he dropped back to the middle of the pack leaving Hi Happy and Manitoulin to sit off the leader. With no pressure on the front end, Glorious Empire set easy fractions of 26.07, 51.69 and 1:17.01, and maintained a lead of as much as two-lengths most of the way around the track. Into the final turn, Channel Maker and Hi Happy both made moves but as they hit the top of the stretch but they still had two lengths to get up to Glorious Empire on the lead. Hi Happy didn’t have enough to catch the leader and fell back but with just enough left in the tank Channel Maker got up to finish in a dead heat with Glorious Maker for first. Saddler’s Joy finished third and Bigger Picture got up for fourth.
When asked about the close margin of finish, it was clearly a bittersweet finish for all sides.
Trainer Bill Mott (Channel Maker) said, “We got there, I just wish we go one inch further, but it was still a good race and I’m proud of the horse and proud of everyone who has done a good job with the horse and thankful to the owners letting us run him in these good races.”
Jockey Julien Leparoux echoed the sentiment saying, “I thought he may have gagged me. I’m glad it was a dead heat, but I wish I won by myself. It’s good to have a dead heat, especially for that horse.”
Dead heat winner Glorious Empire returned $21.40 to win, $20.40 to place, and $8.80 to show while winner Channel Maker returned $7.40 to win, $6.50 to place, and $3.90 to show. Saddler’s Joy paid $2.70 to show.
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