09/07/2013 6:02PM

Belmont Park: Hyper gives Ramseys another stakes win in Bowling Green

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Hyper, ridden by Javier Castellano, outfinishes Finnegans Wake to win the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap on Saturday, opening day of the Belmont Park meet.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Different venue, same results for Ken and Sarah Ramsey and Javier Castellano.

After the Ramseys set a single-meet record for wins (22) by an owner at a Saratoga meet, their red and white colors were in the Belmont Park winner’s circle on Saturday’s opening-day program as Hyper held off Finnegans Wake in the stretch to win the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green Handicap by a half-length. It was two lengths back to Boisterous, the 3-5 favorite, in third.

Hyper was ridden to victory by Castellano, who won three races on Belmont’s opening-day card, following up on his five-win closing-day performance Monday at Saratoga, where he was the leading rider with 66 wins.

The Bowling Green was the first graded stakes victory for Hyper, a 6-year-old son of Victory Gallop who debuted for maiden claiming $25,000 in November 2010 at Aqueduct. It was his 10th career win from 21 starts. Hyper is trained by Chad Brown, who came off a 24-win meet Saratoga, which placed him second in the standings to Todd Pletcher.

Hyper was coming off a victory in the listed Johns Call Stakes at Saratoga, but had been compromised by troubled trips when second in the Good Reward here in May and the Grade 2 Colonial Cup at Colonial Downs in June.

Saturday, riding without instructions, Castellano had Hyper a close-up fifth outside of Boisterous, who was racing along the hedge under John Velazquez. Meanwhile, Quick Casablanca was in front, being chased by London Lane and Farhaan.

Around the far turn, Castellano guided Hyper four wide while Velazquez waited for an opening along the hedge with Boisterous. Velazquez thought he had one, but Quick Casablanca, under Luis Saez, closed it as quickly as he opened it.

Velazquez had to alter course after nearly hitting the hedge. “It’s okay to close it," he said, "but don’t drop me.”

Meanwhile, Castellano had clear sailing as he took over from Quick Casablanca outside the eighth pole, before turning back a challenge from Finnegans Wake, who under Cornelio Velasquez had followed Hyper’s move into the stretch.

Said Castellano: “At the quarter pole Johnny didn’t have a choice - he had to go inside. I had a choice to go around the horses. And when I went around the horses he took off and did it the right way today. He hung a little bit the last part, but when he saw [Finnegans Wake] come outside, he took off again.”

Hyper covered the 1 1/4 miles over firm turf in 2:01.37 and returned $7.90 as the second choice.

* Belmont unveiled a new pick-five wager on Saturday on races 1 through 5. The wager, with a 50-cent minimum bet and a 15 percent takeout, handled $238,514. It returned $390 for a $1 bet.