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A field of seven is set to contest this year’s running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Flower Bowl Stakes at Belmont Park. The race serves as a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” event for the Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf Stakes on November 3 at Churchill Downs. The field size may be a bit short, but this is a star-studded field. The headliner is the amazing Fourstar Crook. Though she just missed last time out in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park, this filly continues to run great races, even at the age of 6. One her chief rivals, Lady Montdore, is undefeated since shipping to the United States, including an impressive victory last time out in the Grade 2 Glens Falls Stakes at Saratoga.
The winner of the Grade 1 Flower Bowl will receive an automatic position in the Breeders’ Cup Marker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turfthis fall at Churchill Downs. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the person who nominated the foal or racehorse. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of Kentucky will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based internationally.
The Flower Bowl Stakes shares the card with two other Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In Races” at Belmont Park this Sunday, a day when Keeneland Race Course will play host to three additional “Win and You’re In” challenge races. The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” races will come to a close on Wednesday, October 10 at Keeneland Race Course with the running of the Grade 2 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes. That race will serve as a “Win and You’re In” for the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
The full field from the rail out includes: Onthemoonagain, Lady Montdore, Holy Helena, Tricky Escape, Danceland, Feeling Bossy, and Fourstar Crook.
#7 Fourstar Crook – It is hard to find much wrong with this New York-bred who continues to run well at the age of 6. This Chad Brown trainee has now won 11 of 18 races, including a pair of graded stakes victories this year, and has lost just once in seven starts at Belmont Park. Two races back, she charged home late to win the Grade 2 New York Stakes, defeating her star stablemate Sistercharlie in the process. Last time out, Sistercharlie got her revenge in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park, with Fourstar Crook coming in second.
#2 Lady Montdore – Unlike her foe, this filly has shipped to the United States from France with great success. She debuted at Saratoga against allowance company, winning by over 4 lengths while defeating a next-out winner. Returning in the Grade 2 Glens Falls Stakes, she once again easily defeated her competition, this time in wire-to-wire fashion. This filly could improve even more here, and so far, she has had no trouble adjusting to our style of racing.
#3 Holy Helena – She has found her groove running on the turf, with three wins from five starts this season. She started with three straight impressive victories, and the last of those, the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Stakes, was the biggest of her career. In her last two starts, she has failed to pick up a win, finishing fifth and third. Getting back to Belmont Park will be to her liking, as she is two for three over this track.
#4 Tricky Escape – A winner of three in a row, Tricky Escape comes into this on an impressive hot streak. Last time out, she shipped to Kentucky Downs for the $400,000 Ramsey Farm Stakes and took it by a head in a thrilling finish. All three her victories have come in stakes races, which shows that this class level suits her well. She is also undefeated at this distance.
#5 Danceland – After two allowance victories, it was time for Danceland to try graded stakes company, which she did in the Grade 2 Glens Falls Stakes last time out. In that race, she stalked the pace the entire way around the track before finishing third at odds of 9-1. That effort showed that she belongs with this sort of company.
#1 Onthemoonagain – This will be her third start in the United States after shipping over from her native France. She has been decent since arriving but is still searching for her first win in this country. She was fourth last out in the Grade 2 Glens Falls Stakes at odds of 2-1, and though it was a disappointing effort because the Chad Brown-trained filly was expected to improve, Brown entries can never be counted out.
#6 Feeling Bossy – This mare has struggled ever since her 2018 debut, finishing off the board in her last three starts. This will also be her first attempt at graded stakes company, so she will need to fire with a big race, as she runs on just two weeks’ rest. Belmont Park is by far her best track, though, which is a positive sign.
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