Hyper proves to be the best in Bowling Green
Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - Second selection Hyper held off Finnegans Wake Saturday to capture the $250,000 Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont Park in the featured event for the track's opening card of its fall meeting.
Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Javier Castellano, Hyper was sitting fifth in the six-horse field for most of the 1 1/4-mile stakes. The 6-year-old, owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, was sent off as the 5-2 second pick behind 3-4 favorite Boisterous.
As pacesetter Quick Casablanca began to tire, Hyper swept around the final turn to take the lead with Finnegans Wake and jockey Cornelio Velasquez moving even wider to take over second.
Hyper had an almost two-length lead in mid-stretch with Finnegans Wake closing in. Approaching the wire, Hyper was able to hold off Finnegans Wake and post a half-length victory over the Dale Romans-trained 4-year-old.
Boisterous, ridden by John Velazquez, passed Quick Casablanca nearing the finish to get third with London Lane finishing fifth and Farhaan eased under the wire last.
The time for the Bowling Green was 2:01.37 over a firm inner turf course.
"My goal in my mind was to keep him relaxed the first part of the race and then find the kick," noted Castellano. "When Boisterous and my horse made their moves at the same time, at the quarter-pole, Johnny (Velazquez) didn't have a choice, he had to go inside. I had a choice, to go around horses. My horse took off and did it the right way. He hung a little bit, but when he saw the other horse come on the outside, he came on again."
Bred and owned by the Ramseys, Hyper pockets $150,000 with the win. The 6- year-old has won 10 of 21 career starts, all on turf, for $554,700.
Hyper came back to the United States this year after a pair of starts last summer in England. Before Saturday, his best 2013 finish was winning the John's Call Stakes at Saratoga on July 31 after finishing second to London Lane in the Colonial Turf Cup on June 22 at Colonial Downs.
"He's always trained well," said Cherie DeVaux, assistant to Chad Brown. "Chad has had him for so long, and he's always been a nice horse to train. He always tries really hard, he always looks great. With age, he has been getting better. What's so enjoyable about watching him run is that he seems to get better every time. He always finds a way to find a little more, and as he's gotten older he keeps finding ways to step up."
The 6-year-old is a stablemate of Arlington Million winner Real Solution and Big Blue Kitten, winner of this year's United Nations Handicap and Sword Dancer Invitational.
Hyper returned $7.90, $4.20 and $2.30. Finnegans Wake paid $5.20 and $2.60, and Boisterous paid $2.10 to show.
09/07 19:07:13 ET