San Gabriel Likely Kicks Off Final Racing Season For 7-Year-Old Stakes Veteran Bowies Hero

Phil D’Amato had four horses nominated to Saturday’s Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes but entered two in the 1 1/8-mile turf test for 4-year-olds and up at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.

They are Bowies Hero and Count Again.

The latter is far from the proverbial empty stall, a two-time graded stakes winner that only joined the D’Amato barn recently and won the G2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar, but Bowies Hero has a more intriguing story line.

The 7-year-old bay has a most remarkable record, a tale straight out of racing fiction.


After winning a maiden special weight race by 5 ¾ lengths in his first start, going 7 ½ furlongs on turf at Lone Star Park on July 16, 2016, the son of outstanding turf miler Artie Schiller has run only in stakes, 26 in a row.

Artie Schiller defeated Leroidesanimaux in the 2005 Breeders’ Cup Mile under the late Garrett Gomez, who would have turned 49 on Jan. 1.

However, Leroidesanimaux won the Eclipse Award that year as top turf horse by three votes over Artie Schiller, a 2001 foal who in 2007 was retired to stud in Kentucky but stood last year in Australia for $11,000.

The Brazilian-bred Leroidesanimaux (king of animals in French) died as a stallion at Newmarket, England, in 2016 at the age of 16.

Bowies Hero has won seven races since his debut victory, including two Grade 1’s, the Kilroe Mile in 2018 and the Shadwell Turf Mile in 2019. He worked five furlongs on the training track last Sunday in 1:02.

Add to his remarkable achievement the fact that the Kentucky-bred owned by a partnership that includes Agave Racing Stable, ERJ Racing LLC and Madaket Stables LLC remains a full horse, meaning he still could one day serve at stud.

“Bowies Hero gives his best pretty much every time,” said D’Amato, who fell one victory shy (11-10) of tying Richard Baltas for the training title at the recent Del Mar meet.

Fans should enjoy Bowies Hero while they can because 2021 will probably be the unsung campaigner’s final season of racing.

“He’s a neat horse to have around the barn but this will probably be his last year of racing,” said D’Amato, who has trained Bowies Hero since just after his first race.

Bowies Hero fancies a stalking style, but has rallied from well off the pace to close with a rush, all save his first race coming at a mile or longer.

He has run in 17 races at a mile, winning six, compiling an enviable overall 8-2-3 record from 27 starts for earnings of $1,588,720.

“Who knows, maybe we can find a stud career for him, but he’s doing really well and just a cool horse to train,” D’Amato continued. ”Right after his maiden victory he was bought privately and I’ve had him ever since.”

And it’s been a match made in heaven.

The San Gabriel, race seven: Cleopatra’s Strike, Kent Desormeaux, 15-1; Next Shares, Jose Valdivia Jr., 4-1; Bob and Jackie, Heriberto Figueroa, 4-1; Multiplier, Abel Cedillo, 12-1; Count Again, Juan Hernandez, 2-1; Anothertwistafate, Joel Rosario, 5-2; and Bowies Hero, Flavien Prat, 6-1.

The post San Gabriel Likely Kicks Off Final Racing Season For 7-Year-Old Stakes Veteran Bowies Hero appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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