Updated on 09/17/2011 11:57AM

Bowling Green repeat

Adam Coglianese
For the second year in a row, Whitmore's Conn wins the $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont Park on Saturday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The Bowling Green did the trick and broke Whitmore's Conn's losing streak.

On Saturday, for the second year in a row, Whitmore's Conn won the $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont Park. In between his Bowling Green wins, Whitmore's Conn lost seven consecutive starts.

Under Jean-Luc Samyn, Whitmore's Conn rallied from the back of the pack for a half-length win over Quest Star, the 117-pound highweight in the Grade 2 Bowling Green. It was another neck back to Macaw, who finished with a rush to be third. Completing the order of finish were Slew Valley, State Shinto, Gritty Sandie, Esperence, Thompson Rouge, and Dawn of the Condor.

State Shinto, the even-money favorite, set pedestrian fractions of 25.61 seconds, 51.28, 1:15.26, and 1:39.13 in the 1 3/8-mile grass race, with longshot Slew Valley hounding him in second. In the final furlong, the leaders were passed by Quest Star, who looked like he was on his way to victory until Whitmore's Conn unleashed his run.

Richard Migliore, who rode State Shinto, said he hadn't planned on being on the lead. "He lost interest on the front," Migliore said.

Samyn said he felt like he had a good chance to win at the top of the stretch.

"I thought I was going to be tough," said Samyn, who also won the 1997 Bowling Green on Influent. "He's a nice, kind horse to ride."

Whitmore's Conn ($25.60) covered the distance in 2:03.52 over the Widener turf, which was labeled good.

Whitmore's Conn's trainer, Randy Schulhofer, said the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga Aug. 9 is a possible next start for the 5-year-old New York-bred. Last year, Whitmore's Conn, who is owned by Michael and Lynn Shanley, finished sixth in the Sword Dancer.

"He found his way today," Schulhofer said. "This horse tries all the time."

The Bobby Frankel-trained Epicentre, the second choice on the morning-line, was scratched after an endoscopic examination revealed the presence of mucous. A couple of other Frankel horses recently missed races because they were sick, too.