Riskaverse Seeks Revenge in Flower Bowl

(Edited NYRA report)
Trainer Pat Kelly summed up Riskaverse's 4-year-old season in a few sentences: "She's run hard." "She's been right there with some really nice horses." "She'll get there one of these days."

With a little luck and a customary strong effort, the daughter of Dynaformer has a chance to win the biggest race of her career Saturday in the $750,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles on the inner turf. Eight stakes winners, including trainer Christophe Clement's entry of Sixty Seconds and Dress to Thrill, were entered.

Riskaverse has just one win from five starts this year, but her four-year-old season has been far from disappointing. Facing the East's best female turf horses, Riskaverse has finished second in the grade III Just a Game, third in the grade II New York, fourth in the grade I Diana and third in the grade I Beverly D.

"She's a tough horse," Kelly said. "She's always had a lot of quality. Once we went out to Chicago for the Beverly D., we've been pointing for the Flower Bowl."

Riskaverse has a shot to get revenge on Flower Bowl rivals Snow Dance and Heat Haze. It was Snow Dance who pulled away from Riskaverse in the final yards of the New York Handicap and Heat Haze who finished in front of Riskaverse in both the Diana and Beverly D. Heat Haze will be the favorite in this race.

"Heat Haze is a very good filly," Kelly said. "She's got that European style of running where she can go a fast last quarter mile. Snow Dance can do her thing. At this level, they're all tough."

Riskaverse will tote 120 pounds under jockey John Velazquez. She breaks from post 2.

Walzerkoenigin, who drew post 3 under jockey Edgar Prado, has won stakes in France, Germany and Italy. She finished fourth to Heat Haze and Riskaverse in the Beverly D. Aug 16, her first start in this country.

"She's had a good week here and we have been happy with her training," said trainer Peter Schiergen through an interpreter. "She's well and we're hoping for the best. Her first effort in this country was good and we're hoping she can improve off of it."

Walzerkoenigin, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Kingmambo whose name translates as "Waltzing Queen," got her first feel for the Belmont turf on Wednesday morning when breezing five furlongs over the inner turf in 1:05. Prado was aboard for the workout.

Five 3-year-old fillies have won the Flower Bowl. American Oaks winner Dimitrova will try to make it six.

A daughter of Swain, Dimitrova recently finished second behind longshot Indy Five Hundred in Belmont's Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I). She will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey for the second time on Saturday, and is facing older horses for the first time. Dimitrova's biggest victory remains a two length score in Hollywood Park's American Oaks.

"She's got her work cut out for her against this field," said Bailey, a two-time winner of the Flower Bowl and who also has ridden Flower Bowl favorite Heat Haze. "She wasn't as overly impressive last time as she was in the American Oaks. I've spoken with (trainer) Dermot Weld and he thought there was a few things they could change this time."

Juddmonte Farms Heat Haze is the 123-pound highweight and will spot her foes three to five pounds. Bred in Great Britain, Heat Haze has won four of five starts in the U.S. Her lone defeat was a neck loss to Voodoo Dancer in Saratoga's Diana Handicap. Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. has the mount for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel.

1a Sixty Seconds, Christophe Clement, Corey Nakatani, 118
2 Riskaverse, Pat Kelly, John Velazquez, 120
3 Walzerkoenigin, Peter Schiergen, Edgar Prado, 120
4a Dress To Thrill, Christophe Clement, Corey Nakatani, 120
5 Primetimevalentine, Danny Peitz, Jose Santos, 118
6 Dimitrova, Dermot Weld, Jerry Bailey, 113
7 Snow Dance, John Ward Jr., Richard Migliore, 120
8 Heat Haze, Bobby Frankel, Jose Valdivia Jr., 123