Lynn and Michael Stanley's New York-bred Whitmore's Conn stormed to the lead in the stretch for an upset victory in Saturday's Bowling Green Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
The victory was the fifth in 18 career starts for the 4-year-old son of Kris S. Bred in New York by Joe D'Agostino and Bud Wolf, the Bowling Green winner was sold at the 1999 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale for $150,000.
Iris-bred Moon Solitaire, making his third start in the U.S., assumed the early lead in the 1 3/8-mile turf test, while followed by Illusionary and Startac. The lead remained unchanged as they went in fractions of :24 1/5, :49, and 1:13 3/5 for the first three-quarters of a mile. The closers began to make up ground at the top of the stretch, with Whitmore's Conn and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan emerging victorious over Staging Post.
The winner paid $31.80, $11.00, and $6.30, with Staging Post worth $4.30 and $3.10. Moon Solitaire held on for third and paid $3.30. The final time of 2:13 2/5 was well off the course record of 2:10 1/5.
The winner is trained by Randy Schulhofer, who got Whitmore's Conn in his stable when he took over the stable previously handled by his father. Hall of Famer Scotty Schulhofer retired after the 2001 racing season.
"It was a big step up today," the younger Schulhofer said. "Last year, he ran real well in some stakes, so we had to give him a chance this year. He's matured (mentally), as a lot of Kris S.' will do when they get older. He's a pretty nice New York-bred."