Many of the Flower Bowl starters will face one another again in the $2-million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park, making Saturday’s event an intriguing preview of what is shaping up to be a terrific championship field.
Among the talented turfers attempting the Flower Bowl is last year’s champion 3-year-old filly Wait a While. After losing consecutive races, including the June 9 Just a Game Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont, the 4-year-old daughter of Maria's Mon-Flirtatious returned to the winners' circle last month by scoring in the Balston Spa Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga. The 2 1/4-length victory solidified the fact that Arindel Farm’s Wait a While is still a force to be reckoned with.
“She proved in her last race she’s in top form,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “She won the American Oaks and the Yellow Ribbon going a mile-and-a-quarter, so the distance is no problem.”
A seven-time graded stakes winner, Wait a While will leave from post 6 with regular rider Garret Gomez.
Monceaux Stable’s Royal Highness (GER) will also be looking to continue her winning ways. The 5-year-old Monsun mare captured the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) by a head Aug. 11 on the Arlington Park turf for her first graded stakes win in America. It stamped her ticket to the Breeders’ Cup, but trainer Christophe Clement said he is unsure about what the future will hold.
“I don’t know about the Breeders’ Cup,” Clement said. “Our goal has been the Flower Bowl, and then we’ll go from there. I guess our choices are the Breeders’ Cup or the E.P. Taylor (Oct. 21, Woodbine).”
Two additional Grade I winners, Alexander Tango and My Typhoon, will have a say in the Flower Bowl. Bred in Ireland by Philip Brady, Alexander Tango made her first career start in the states a winning one Sept. 8 in the Garden City Stakes (gr. IT), taking the Belmont event by three-quarters of a length. Since then, the 3-year-old filly has been stabled in New York.
“She’s done well since the Garden City,” said David Grogan, exercise rider for trainer Tommy Slack. “Things didn’t really go how we thought they would in the Garden City. The pace was much slower than we expected, and she was farther back than we thought she’d be. That didn’t really suit her, but she showed a turn of foot I’ve never seen from her before.”
Live Oak Plantation’s My Typhoon (IRE) has had a terrific year despite a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Balston Spa. Before that the 5-year-old mare by Giant's Causeway , out of Urban Sea, won three consecutive graded stakes, including the Diana Stakes (gr. IT) at Saratoga July 28. Trained by Bill Mott, she will be making her first career start at a mile-and-a-quarter. Eddie Castro gets the mount.
Another Irish filly who seems to be on the rise is Rosinka, who has won four consecutive starts. Trained by Graham Motion, Alistair Buchanan’s Rosinka won her first graded stakes Sept. 3 at Saratoga, taking the Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a neck.
Dance Smartly (gr. IIT) winner Masseuse, Diana runner-up Argentina (IRE), Lahudood (GB) and Hostess complete the field.
$600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT, Race 8, 4:40 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Wt., Jockey
1. Lahudood (GB), 119, Alan Garcia
2. Hostess (KY), 119, Channing Hill
3. Masseuse (KY), 121, Javier Castellano
4. Alexander Tango (IRE), 119, Shaun Bridgmohan
5. My Typhoon (IRE), 123, Eddie Castro
6. Wait a While (KY), 121, Garrett K. Gomez
7. Rosinka (IRE), 119, Jeremy Rose
8. Royal Highness (GER), 123, Rene R. Douglas
9. Argentina (IRE), 119, Kent J. Desormeaux