Bowies Hero got up late to deny Kroy in Tuesday’s $201,035 Mathis Brothers Mile (G2) at Santa Anita, recording a half-length tally in the one-mile turf affair for 3-year-olds. Kent Desormeaux was up for Phil d’Amato on the Artie Schiller colt.
Owned byAgave Racing Stable, Bowies Hero had notched a trio of stakes wins over listed or restricted foes but the Mathis Brothers marked his first graded victory. He stalked a couple of lengths off the pace in third while Krop reeled off splits of :23.54, :47.09 and 1:10.49 on a short lead.
The pacesetter accelerated clear into the stretch, opening a two-length advantage with only a furlong remaining, but Bowies Hero started gaining momentum after straightening for home and came flying late to get the money. He stopped the teletimer in 1:33.46 on the firm ground.
Bowies Hero was off as the 3-1 second choice among eight runners and snapped a three-race losing skein. The bay recorded back-to-back thirds in the Del Mar Derby (G2) and Twilight Derby (G2) before a fifth most recently in the November 25 Hollywood Derby (G1). He increased his bankroll to $381,325 from a 11-5-0-2 ledger.
Kroy was off at 7-1 and 3 ¼ lengths better than 8-5 favorite Big Score. Colonist rounded out the superfecta.
Bowies Hero was bred in Kentucky by Pope, Pope Jr. and Marc McLean and passed through the sales ring twice before bringing $32,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Maryland May 2-year-old sale. He was privately purchased by his connections after winning his career debut at Lone Star Park.
Mathis Brothers Mile quotes
PHIL D’AMATO, BOWIES HERO: “I loved what Kent was doing. He was saving ground and sitting in behind a couple other horses. He bided his time and rode him very confidently and was able to push by that horse (pacesetter, Kroy). I’m very proud of this horse . . . very proud of the way he finished up the year.”
KENT DESORMEAUX, BOWIES HERO: “Phil D’Amato did a great job in getting him ready. I don’t deserve the credit, he does. This horse had fire in his eyes. He refused to lose. At the 16th pole, I didn’t think we had a chance, but he saw that tail in front of him and he mowed him down.”
JAVIER CASTELLANO, KROY: “Turning for home, I thought I was going to win the race. But I give all the respect to the winner – he’s a come-from-behind horse who always finishes strong. I’m not disappointed in my horse at all – I think he ran a huge race, and with the good fractions he was right where he wanted to be. I’m very satisfied with second place today.”
FLAVIEN PRAT, BIG SCORE: “Too soft. The turf is too soft for this horse.”