Cacht Wells holds off late charge by Relaxed Gesture to win the Bowling Green Handicap by a head.

Cacht Wells holds off late charge by Relaxed Gesture to win the Bowling Green Handicap by a head.

Adam Coglianese

Cacht Wells Mows Down Bowling Green Field

Argentine-bred Cacht Wells, sent off at odds of 26-1, took the lead down the stretch and held on through the drive to the wire to upset the even-money favorite Relaxed Gesture by a head in Saturday's $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Belmont Park turf.

Cacht Wells, ridden by Eibar Coa and carrying 114 pounds, covered the 1 3/8 miles on firm turf in 2:15 2/5 to earn $90,000 for Castletop Stable. It was the first graded stakes win of Cacht Well's 15-race career. Since joining trainer Stanley Hough in March, Cacht Wells has two wins and two thirds.

The win was the second in four starts this year for the 5-year-old Poliglote gelding who returned $55, $12, and $5.70.

Cacht Wells' win may prove costly.

"He took a bad step pulling up," Hough said. "It doesn't appear to be that bad. He's been doing great. This is the farthest he's run, but he's always acted as a steady-paced horse. I thought he would go the distance, but I didn't know about the company."

Cacht Wells stalked a pokey pace of :26 1/5; :51 4/5 and 1:17 set by Salic Law. In the lane, Coa gave Cacht Wells the `go' and his mount responded to take the lead.

"My plan was to be third or fourth, but they started going too slow," Coa said. "I said, `Let me get close.' He got comfortable. In the end, I was a little concerned whether he was going to get the distance. He showed a big-time heart. He pulled up lame. I don't know what the problem was. I felt it after the wire, so I didn't want to take a chance to bring him back."

Relaxed Gesture, ridden by Brice Blanc who already rode two winners on the afternoon's card, came with a powerful late run, but the wire came first. Relaxed Gesture, who was coming off a game second-place finish in the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT), carried 117 pounds.

"I thought I was in the right spot," Blanc said. "He settled down and relaxed. When I came around, he really kicked on. He was battling to the wire. It was a very strong effort the other day; maybe he bounced a little bit."

Dreadnaught, ridden by Jean-Luc Samyn, was third in the field of seven, another 2 3/4 lengths back.

Exterior, Salic Law, Navesink River, and Macaw trailed. Certifiably Crazy, Grumman, King's Coronation, and Tynan were scratched.

Salic Law reared in the gate on twice before the start.

Relaxed Gesture paid $2.90 and $2.40 and Dreadnaught paid $3.70.

(Chart, Equibase)