Hallandale Beach, FL, July 29-30 — The question of the day is: Will Sunday’s Grade 2 Bowling Green stay on the lawn? Despite precipitation, there are two factors indicating that it probably will, both working to the benefit of the racing office and the bean counters.
Off-turf means scratches and given New York lenient scratch policies, the shrinks the size of the field and the churn.
More subtle perhaps is the fact favorite Rebel’s Romance, Charlie Appleby’s highly fancied European import and, of course, the winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf, would want tis race to run as scheduled, 1-3/8 miles on Saratoga’s inner turf course.
Not only would that be squarely in the gelded five year old’s wheelhouse but with cut in the ground, only so much the better. And the chap’s traveled such a long way for this and his presence helps maintain our prestige.
A saving grace to reschedule might be safety of horses and riders which of course is paramount.
So let’s forget about all that angst and give an offering to the gods of turf racing.
HRI’S Trip Notes for the Bowling Green, listed in post order with early line odds:
HIGHEST HONORS (8-1) ridden for position 4-wide first turn, established position 4-5 wide backstretch, cued to rally 5-wide on turn, tired final furlong.
ROCKEMPEROR (12-1) speed from the barrier, restrained with position off the speed backside, rallied 3-4 wide bumped 5/16s, checked into lane, not abused late when apparently beaten.
NEVER EXPLAIN (8-1) closed up between rivals early, strong mid-race moved to lead, took command, gamely battle in, stretch drive, stayed well, good effort.
VERSTAPPEN (15-1) taken in hand early, rallied 4-wide on turn, 5-path entering, finished strongly despite slow pace, wants more ground.
SOLDIER RISING (4-1) saved ground under restrained early, steadied back 3-wide approaching headstretch, rallied gamely 4-wide through lane.
STRONG QUALITY (10-1) established position early, rated 2-3 wide throughout on the pace, steadied well until weakening final furlong.
THE GREY WIZARD (8-1) urged to save ground early marathon, rated 3-4 wide staling the pace, moved closer 3-4 path turn, sustained rally, hard driven for place.
CHANNEL MAKER (20-1) [MAY 13, at today’s trip] sharp speed from gate, restrained speed on lead while pressured, driven hard after straightening away, stayed well until finale strides.
ROBEL’S ROMANCE (8-5) reserved early biding time, no urgency through backstretch, cured 3-4 wide third turn, 6-path entering, left lead, powerful surge late.
TAWNY PORT (20-1) no turf form, pedigree does not stream grass.
DAUNT (30-1) ridden for position 3-path first turn, stalked pace 3-wide backstretch, 4-path into lane, reached front, collared, nailed final strides, very game try.
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