07/19/2017 9:10PM

Bowies Hero wins Oceanside Stakes on Del Mar's opening day

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Benoit & Associates
Bowies Hero rallied late to win the Oceanside Stakes on opening day at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Bowies Hero had no luck in the Grade 3 Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont Park last month, racing in traffic on the turn before finishing fourth behind Oscar Performance.

Bowies Hero had only slightly better luck on the turn of Wednesday’s $120,660 Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar. This time, the stretch run went in Bowies Hero’s favor.

The colt rallied in the final quarter-mile to take the lead in the final sixteenth and win the feature race on the opening day of the track’s summer meeting.

Bowies Hero’s trip on the turn concerned trainer Phil D’Amato who was relieved when jockey Tiago Pereira found running room at a pivotal time.

“He checked a couple of times,” D’Amato said. “He was loaded in the stretch and had a ton of horse galloping out.”

Bowies Hero ran a mile on turf in 1:36.11, finishing 1 1/2 lengths in front of 21-1 Pioneer Lad. Bowies Hero was ninth with a furlong remaining, trailing stretch leader Rockin Rudy by about four lengths.

Pioneer Lad had his turf debut and fifth career start in the Oceanside Stakes. Pioneer Lad worked three furlongs on turf for the first time on Monday and was ridden by Tyler Baze in the Oceanside.

“He had a turf work the other day and Tyler loved him,” trainer Richard Baltas said. “He’s a different horse on the grass.”

Caribou Club, a 15-1 outsider, finished third, followed by Grecian Fire, Bird Is the Word, Rockin Rudy, Arms Runner, Vending Machine, Fortune of War, Allaboutmike, My Man Chuckles, Lucky Bode and Harbour Master.

The disappointment in the field was the previously unbeaten Arms Runner, the 8-5 favorite. He raced inside to the stretch and was never a factor, leaving jockey Norberto Arroyo frustrated.

“He didn’t like the inside,” Arroyo said. “He wasn’t as comfortable.”

Bowies Hero races for Michael Martinez and Jeff Hebert. By Artie Schiller, Bowies Hero has won 4 of 7 starts and earned $201,325. Bowies Hero won the Del Mar Juvenile Turf in his California debut last September and was later 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita last November.

In his first start this year, Bowies Hero won the minor Singletary Stakes at Santa Anita on May 6. The loss in the Pennine Ridge Stakes was softened by Wednesday’s win. The Pennine Ridge has already proven to be a productive race. Oscar Performance won the Pennine Ridge and the Grade 1 Belmont Derby on July 8.

Bowies Hero will be considered for the Grade 3 La Jolla Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on Aug. 6 or the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 3.

“We’ll see if we’ll wait for the Del Mar Derby or roll into the La Jolla Handicap,” D’Amato said.

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