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Bowies Hero, Prat Triumph in Eddie Read Stakes

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

Provided by Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Bowies Hero © Benoit Photo

Providing leading rider Flavien Prat with his fourth stakes success of the new Del Mar racing season, Bowies Hero emerged from a tight pack turning for home and drew out to an authoritative triumph in the featured 46th running of the Grade II $250,000 Eddie Read Stakes Sunday.

Prat made it five stakes victories thus far this summer in Sunday’s supporting feature, the $85,000 Wickerr Stakes, leading from wire-to-wire astride Bombard.

Bowies Hero, winner of the 2017 Oceanside Stakes as a three-year-old, sliced between horses under deft handling by Prat and closed powerfully to win by two and one-quarter lengths in 1:46.63 for the mile and one-eighth over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

Marckie’s Water rallied from last place in the six-horse field to be second, a head in front of the early pacesetter, 30-1 Ritzy A.P., with 2-1 second choice Sharp Samurai another neck back in fourth place. Catapult, the 3-2 favorite, was a disappointing fifth, beating only Ohio to the wire.

Bowies Hero, a son of Artie Schiller bred in Kentucky, is owned by Agave Racing Stable, ERJ Racing and Madaket and conditioned by Phil D’Amato. Victory in the Read was his seventh in 19 career races and first since he won the Kilroe Mile in March of 2018. First money of $150,000 increased the five-year-old’s earnings to $874,970.

Going postward at 3-1, Bowies Hero returned $8.80 $4.80 and $3.20. Marckie’s Water paid $5.40 and $4.20, while Ritzy A.P. returned $5.60 to show.

During the first five days of the 36-day meeting, Prat has accounted for the Read, the Wickerr,  the Oceanside aboard Jasikan, the Fleet Treat on Hollywood Hills and the Daisycutter on Painting Corners out of eight stakes on the schedule.

In the Wickerr, carded at one-mile on the grass, Bombard, second beaten a head by Double Touch in the same race a year ago, was sent to the front by Prat leaving the gate, set a comfortable pace and resisted the late challenge of 2-1 favored Higher Power to win by a half-length in 1:34.44. Le Ken was third, a length and three-quarters farther back, and a half-length in front of Souter.

Bombard, a son of War Front owned by Claiborne Farm, Bass and Dilschneider and trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, returned $9.20, $3.80 and $3.20 after his fifth win in a dozen starts. First prize was $53,700. Runner-up Higher Power paid $3.80 and $3.20, while Le Ken returned $6.20 to show.

Prat, a 26-year-old native of Melun, France, was Del Mar’s leading rider, both summer and fall, in 2017, and was runner-up to Drayden Van Dyke for the summer/fall titles last year.  He won the 2019 Kentucky Derby on Country House when Maximum Security was disqualified.

Del Mar racing resumes Wednesday with a first post time of 2 p.m. The feature on a seven-race program will be the $100,000 Cougar II Handicap.

FLAVIEN PRAT (Bowies Hero, winner) – “I was in a good spot all the way around. No problems for me. When we straightened away in the stretch and we got clear, he fired a good one. He was best today.”

TIAGO PEREIRA (Marckie’s Water, second) – “He really wants more distance; and more pace. There wasn’t much to run at today. He came running late in a good try, but the conditions weren’t ideal for him.

RITZY A.P. (Martin Garcia, third) – “He never saw the winner outside him. If he had, I think he digs back in. He’s a nice horse and he gave it a good try.”

DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (Catapult, fifth) – “He’s the kind of horse that has to have some pace in front of him. He wants to be covered up and have a target to run at. He had no pace and we were too far forward today.”

PHIL D’AMATO (Bowies Hero, winner) – “I think he’s just rounding back into his form cycle right now, third race off a layoff and Flavien gave him a picture perfect ride. I think I raced him one time too many last year, gave him a long break and he was back on point today. Up next is the Del Mar Mile and hopefully that will get us into the Breeders’ Cup Mile.”

FRACTIONS:  :24.38  :48.16  1:11.71  1:35.31  1:46.63

The stakes win was the fourth of the meet (from a total of seven stakes run so far) and second (Hunt, 2017) in the Eddie Read for rider Prat. He now has 37 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the first of the meet, but third in the Eddie Read for trainer D’Amato. He now has 24 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning owners are a large group headed by Mark Martinez of San Antonio, TX and his Agave Racing Stable and ERJ Racing’s Erik Johnson, a professional hockey player from Cherry Hill Village, CO.

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Photo Credits:   Vassar Photography (Northern CA)  |  Benoit Photo (Southern CA)  |  Michael J. Marten (Southern CA)

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