Updated on 09/16/2011 7:23AM

Versatile Bowman's Band looks best


BALTIMORE - Bowman's Band, runner-up in the Grade 1 Oaklawn Park Handicap, has an excellent chance to notch his first graded stakes victory in the Grade 3, $100,000, William Donald Schaefer Handicap at nine furlongs.

Bowman's Band is 4 for 7 lifetime, with two of his losses coming in graded stakes and another coming to the graded-stakes winner Dream Run in an allowance race. In the Oaklawn Park Handicap, Bowman's Band pressed a solid early pace and was game to hold second while finishing 4 3/4 lengths behind Kudos.

Bowman's Band could control the pace in the Schaefer if Edgar Prado so chooses, but the horse is also tractable enough to sit off the pace should First Amendment go to the front. Bowman's Band did beat Mongoose - this year's Donn Handicap winner - in last September's Summing Stakes at The Meadowlands.

Ground Storm, trained by Bill Mott, looms the major threat. A 6-year-old son of Preakness winner Summer Squall, Ground Storm enjoyed a strong winter, with three victories, including the Grade 3 Stymie Handicap. He finished third in the Excelsior after getting away awkwardly and racing closer to the pace than usual. Jerry Bailey replaces Javier Castellano.

Tenpins, who has crossed the finish line first in his last five starts - he was disqualified and placed second once - makes his stakes debut for trainer Donald Winfree. Tactical Side, coupled with First Amendment, comes off a nine-length win in his last start earning a lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure of 109.