09/03/2016 8:58PM

Bowies Hero delivers for new connections in Del Mar Juvenile Turf

Benoit & Associates
Bowies Hero stamps himself as a prime contender for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf by winning the Del Mar Juvenile Turf under Rafael Bejarano.

DEL MAR, Calif.  – Bowies Hero was sold after his first race and sent to California, but he’s not going anywhere else for a while.

 In his first start on this circuit on Saturday, he made good on the promise his new owners and trainer saw when they viewed a replay of his first race at Lone Star Park by taking the $102,760 Del Mar Juvenile Turf and stamping himself as one of the top prospects for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in two months at Santa Anita.

 Bowies Hero ($11.40) had to be at his best on Saturday, for 2-1 favorite Big Score made a run at him, but Bowies Hero was strong to the wire under Rafael Bejarano and prevailed by one length, with Big Score 6 1/4 lengths in front of third-place Billy Big.

 Bowies Hero completed one mile on firm turf in 1:36.40.

 The top two out of this race are clearly the West’s best prospects for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Big Score won his debut at Del Mar, but Bowies Hero had a more circuitous journey.

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 Bowies Hero won his debut at Lone Star on July 16. Days after that race, after being alerted to the horse by Jeff and Kathleen Hebert – who spend the summer in Del Mar – trainer Phil D’Amato looked at the replay and said, “We need to buy that horse.”

 “I wanted this horse in the worst way, and it all worked out,” D’Amato said.

 The Heberts, along with Mark Martinez’s Agave Racing Stable, purchased Bowies Hero privately and brought him west.

 “I told Raf to ride him like he was the best horse,” D’Amato said. “He trains like an old horse and does everything right.”

 Bowies Hero, a colt by Artie Schiller, was purchased at Timonium in May by his prior owners for $32,000. He earned $60,000 on Saturday, and will seek to add to that total in the Zuma Beach at Santa Anita next month before the Breeders’ Cup.