May 24, 2022

Bowies Hero rolls home in Oceanside on Del Mar opener

Bowies Hero and jockey Tiago Pereira win the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar, July 19, 2017 © BENOIT PHOTO

Bowies Hero swung out for clear sailing turning for home and mowed down Pioneer Lad to win going away in the $117,900 Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar Wednesday, scoring by a 1 1/2-length margin in the opening-day feature for 3-year-old turf males. Tiago Pereira was up on the Phil D’Amato-trained son of Artie Schiller, who recorded his third stakes victory, and the bay colt completed a mile in 1:36.01 on the Jimmy Durante course.

Winner of the Del Mar Juvenile Turf in his second career outing, Bowies Hero concluded his 2-year-old campaign with a pair of unplaced efforts. He came back strong in his sophomore debut, rallying to a half-length decision in the May 6 Singletary at Santa Anita, and was exiting a respectable fourth in the June 3 Pennine Ridge (G3) at Belmont Park.

With the $70,740 winner’s share, the bay colt has earned $201,325 from a 7-3-0-0 career line.

Off as the 3-1 second choice among 13 runners, Bowies Hero rated in midpack as Allaboutmike and My Man Chuckles contested opening splits in :22.80, :46.75 and 1:11.46. Pereira guided his mount through congestion on the far turn, with Bowies Hero accelerating forward along the inside into contention, and he found room to angle out entering the stretch.

Pioneer Lad saved ground behind the early leaders and offered a nice run leaving the far turn, striking the front in midstretch, but ultimately proved no match for the oncoming Bowies Hero, who closed powerfully under the finish line.

“I was there with a lot of horse all the way around,” Pereira said. “I had a big hold; he was strong. Tyler’s horse (Tyler Baze on second-place finisher Pioneer Lad) made that run, but my horse went to him, then went right on by. He was very strong. And he’ll run on.”

“Tiago said we were lucky to get through right in front of the five-sixteenth,” D’Amato added. “(Joe) Talamo was out of horse and kind of let him through. (Pereira) let him run through the stretch and he said he had a ton of horse on the gallop-out.”

Pioneer Lad, who was off at 21-1, wound up 1 ½ lengths clear of 15-1 Caribou Club, who edged 32-1 outsider Grecian Fire for third. Arms Runner, the 8-5 favorite, was never a factor in seventh.

Bred in Kentucky by Pope and Marc McLean et al, Bowies Hero initially sold for $17,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. The bargain purchase was pinhooked for $32,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Maryland May 2-year-old sale. He is the first foal out of the unraced Sky Mesa mare Remembered, a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Mint Lane and Grade 1 runner-up Sister Girl Blues, the dam of 2015 Kentucky Derby runner-up Firing Line. This is also the immediate female family of Grade 2 winner Sharp Azteca, who exits a runner-up in the Met Mile (G1).

Del Mar offers a three-race series for turf 3-year-olds and the La Jolla (G3) on August 6 is up next. The September 3 Del Mar Derby (G2) takes place on closing weekend.

“So we’ll just play it by ear and see if we’ll just sit and wait for the Del Mar Derby or roll into the La Jolla,” D’Amato said. “He loves this track, he got his first win for me on this track. The weather’s cooler here at Del Mar and he just thrives in it.”