Agave Racing Stable, ERJ Racing and Madaket Stables' Bowies Hero emerged from a crowded pack in the stretch to win the 34th running of the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) for 3-year-olds and up by three-quarters of a length before a chamber of commerce Saturday afternoon crowd of 26,567.
Keeneland smashed its Fall Meet all-sources and Pick Five wagering records, both set on Fall Stars Saturday in 2018. All-sources handle totaled $18,392,756, eclipsing the previous record of $17,122,465. Wagering on the $300,000-guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Five totaled $794,689 to best the former record of $619,106.
The blockbuster day featured five graded stakes worth $2.35 million, including the Shadwell Turf Mile and three other Breeders' Cup Challenge races in which winners earned automatic berths in the 36th Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on Nov. 1-2.
The Shadwell Turf Mile win earned Bowies Hero a fees-paid berth into the $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) to be run Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
Flavien Prat had Bowies Hero racing in midpack early on, swung seven wide at the head of the stretch for clear running and collared Diamond Oops in deep stretch to claim his second Grade 1 victory in his career.
The victory is the first in a Keeneland stakes for Prat and trainer Phil D'Amato.
“My horse broke well – better than the other day (when fifth at Del Mar in the Del Mar Mile-G2 on Aug. 18),” said Prat. “I was able to put myself in the race, was able to tip him out around the turn and get him ready to make his run. And then he got the job done. (The battle between several horses right at the wire) was great. When you win, it's great. When you get beat, it's frustrating. He always gives you everything he has.”
“We've always had the confidence in this horse,” said Josh Flores, assistant to D'Amato. “He's had some tough trips. Today, (jockey) Flavien (Prat) was able to put him in the right spot and he was able to fly home.”
Bowies Hero, a Keeneland sales graduate, covered the mile on a firm turf course in 1:34.20 and added $600,000 to his bankroll that now totals $1,478,970 with a record of 21-8-1-3.
A winner of four graded stakes, Bowies Hero is a Kentucky-bred son of Artie Schiller out of the Sky Mesa mare Remembered.
Bowies Hero returned $18.40, $8.80 and $6.60. Diamond Oops, ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $13 and $8.80 in finishing a nose in front of 2017 Shadwell winner Suedois (FR), who paid $11.80 to show under Jamie Spencer.
It was another nose back to First Premio in fourth followed by March to the Arch, 2018 winner Next Shares and Divisidero. Van Beethoven and Bandua in a dead-heat for eighth with favored Valid Point, Admission Office, Vintager (GB), Robin of Navan (FR) and Real Story completing the field.
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