02/18/2011 6:08PM

Queen's Plate, not Derby, is the goal for Bowman's Causeway

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Bowman’s Causeway is a promising and improving 3-year-old who is coming off a maiden win going 1 1/8 miles here at Gulfstream Park earlier this month. He’s just the type of horse one might expect to be on a path that could ultimately lead him along the trail to a possible berth in the Kentucky Derby.

But Bowman’s Causeway could prove to be the exception to the rule for one good reason. He’s a Canadian-bred whose ultimate goal during the first half of the season is not the Kentucky Derby but to win the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine in late June.

Patrick Biancone trains Bowman’s Causeway for owner-breeder Martin Schwartz and at this point is uncertain what might be next for his well- bred colt, who is a son of Giant’s Causeway out of the Grade 1-winning mare Victory Encounter.

Bowman’s Causeway started just once at 2, finishing a late-running third in a two-turn, mile-and-70-yard maiden race at Monmouth Park. He opened his 3-year-old campaign finishing second to the highly regarded first-time starter Nacho Business going a mile on Jan. 30, then returned on less than two weeks’ rest to post a one-length decision when sent nine furlongs for the first time.

“I’m very pleased with both his races so far this year,” said Biancone. “He’s run three times and improved three times. Our initial goal is to win the Queen’s Plate. He’s by Giant’s Causeway out of a mare who became a Grade 1 winner at 4 so his breeding suggests it should take longer for him to really come around. He’s just done so a little quicker than expected.”

Biancone said he’s uncertain what will be next for Bowman’s Causeway but that he has several options to consider, including next Saturday’s Grade 2 Fountain of Youth.

“Our main focus is to prepare him for the Queen’s Plate but things can change,” said Biancone. “I’d like to try him in the Florida Derby and there are several ways to get there, including the Fountain of Youth. I know a mile isn’t really his game but that first mile race really sharpened him up so that new race they just put up could be interesting. Maybe we’ll just go ahead and run against Uncle Mo.”

Biancone said assessing the 3-year-old division, even at this point of the season, can be difficult.
“When horses go from 2 to 3 it’s like poker, you have to re-shuffle the deck and deal the cards again and just a question of who improves, who stays sound, and all the other little things in the middle.”