05/06/2017 8:33PM

Bowies Hero stumbles at start, comes back to take Singletary

Benoit & Associates
Bowies Hero paid $16.40 in winning the Singletary Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Bowies Hero overcame a severe stumble at the start to win his 2017 debut in Saturday’s $81,725 Singletary Stakes for 3-year-old turf milers at Santa Anita.

The style of the win suggested Bowies Hero will play a pivotal role in 3-year-old turf stakes, a division that has ample opportunities in graded stakes in Southern California in the second half of the year.

Bowies Hero ($16.40) closed from ninth in a field of 10 to win the Singletary by a half-length over 7-2 Bird Is the Word.

Bowies Hero seemed to have little chance for a win after losing his footing under jockey Tiago Pereira in the first jump.

“It’s not the start you want,” winning trainer Phil D’Amato said.

“But when I saw those fractions, I didn’t worry. I thought he could come with a late kick.”

Ventry Bay, an 18-1 shipper from Turfway Park, and Sharp Samurai, the 3-2 favorite, dueled through early fractions of 22.39 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 46.05 for a half-mile. Pereira brought Bowies Hero six-wide on the final turn and was fifth, trailing by about 3 1/2 lengths, with a furlong remaining.

“I thought he was picking up steam,” D’Amato said.

Bowies Hero, who took the lead in the final sixteenth, ran a mile on turf in 1:35.06.

Owned by Agave Racing Stable and Jeff Hebert, Bowies Hero won the Del Mar Juvenile Turf last September and was later eighth in the Zuma Beach Stakes and 11th of 14 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November.

By Artie Schiller, Bowies Hero was given a rest over the winter, D’Amato said.

“He just had some R&R,” D’Amato said.

Bowies Hero has won 3 of 5 starts and has earned $120,585.