Whitmore's Conn Repeats in Bowling Green

Whitmore's Conn Repeats in Bowling Green
Photo: AP/NYRA Adam Coglianese
Whitmore's Conn captures the Bowling Green Handicap for the second year in a row.
Whitmore's Conn earned his second straight Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) victory and his first win since last year's renewal, rallying from behind a slow pace on Saturday at Belmont Park. Under Jean-Luc Samyn, the 5-year-old son of Kris S. completed the 1 3/8 miles in 2:15.92 on the turf course listed as good.

"This was the race we were pointing for; this is pretty exciting," said winning trainer Randy Schulhofer. "Jean-Luc (Samyn) knows what he's doing -- I just told him to warm the horse up good. I thought his last race was good; they went :23 and change for the last quarter and he made up four or five lengths. I guess a mile and three-eighths at Belmont Park is his thing."

Favored State Shinto set a dawdling pace (:51.28 and 1:15.26) under jockey Richard Migliore, while pressed by Slew Valley, who finished second to King Cugat in the 2001 renewal of the race. Slew Valley gained a slim advantage in the stretch, before Quest Star gained a brief lead. Whitmore's Conn then swept by Quest Star in the stretch to earn the half-length victory. Macaw rallied under Shaun Bridgmohan -- who was aboard Whitmore's Conn for the 2002 Bowling Green -- for third, followed by Slew Valley, State Shinto, Gritty Sandie, Esperence, Thompson Rouge, and Dawn of the Condor.

New York-bred Whitmore's Conn paid $25.60, $11.60 and $6.70. Quest Star returned $7.50 and $4.90 and completed the $129 exacta. Macaw paid $3.80 to show.

Whitmore's Conn earned owners Michael and Lynn Shanley $90,000 for the win plus $9,000 from the New York Breeding and Racing Program for the owners and breeders Bud Wolf and Joe D'Agostino. The win marks the sixth in 26 starts. (Chart, Equibase)

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