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2012 Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile: Mr. Bowling

Mr. Bowling ridden by Robby Albarado gets a head in front of Z Dager and jockey Shane Sellers to win the 68th running of the $175,000 Grade III Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds.  Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.
In a thrilling conclusion to Saturday’s LeComte Stakes at the Fairgrounds, Mr. Bowling won the three way battle to the wire over rivals Z Dager and Shared Property.  Spinning three wide out of the final turn in a cavalry charge towards the wire, Mr. Bowling opened up by a length in the stretch and fought with Z Dagger in the last few yards, earning victory by a determined head, with Shared Property a ½ length back in third.  The final time for the 1 mile 70 contest was 1:43.49.  His triumph in the LeComte earns Mr. Bowling a place in the Triple Crown trail spotlight. Let’s take a closer look at the Larry Jones trainee to determine Mr. Bowling’s chances on the first Saturday in May.
MR. BOWLING (Istan - Goldilock's Bear, by Irish Tower) has won three of his last four starts, earning a blacktype win in the 1 mile 70 yard Dover Stakes at Delaware and coming back three weeks later to get up for third in the Iroquois (G-3).  He is the first stakes winner produced by his first crop sire, Istan.
On the racetrack, Istan was a hardy competitor, facing the starter 29 times.  The son of Gone West compiled a 29-9-1-1 record with earnings of $461,455.  Istan began his racing career in France, where he won at first asking, sprinting six furlongs over the Chantilly turf course.  He won twice more in six subsequent starts before shipping to the US at the end of his three year old season.  Istan started only twice at four, but came back for a fifth year on the track. Unplaced in previous stakes attempts, Istan broke through with a win in the Budweiser Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay and followed up with victory in the Artax Handicap at Gulfstream. The sprinter earned his first graded stakes conquest in the Turfway Park Fall Championship Stakes and proved it was no fluke with his final stakes win, destroying his rivals by over eight lengths in the one mile Ack Ack Handicap (G-3).  Istan was successful over dirt, turf and synthetic surfaces. 
With an initial crop of 44 foals and three winners, Istan is off to a fairly slow start at stud. Istan’s three winners have been successful from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles.  Istan has plenty of miler speed in his pedigree. His sire Gone West shows great versatility, getting runners over all surfaces and distances. Istan's damsire Bluebird, a son of Storm Bird, was a Champion Sprinter in Ireland and spent most of his stud career in Australia. As a broodmare sire, he is represented by over 100 stakes winners.  
Mr. Bowling is the first stakes winner produced by his dam Goldilock's Bear. The mare was a solid allowance class runner on the track, scoring a 3-3-2 record from 16 starts. Goldilock's Bear won as a dirt sprinter and placed in sprints over the turf.  She is a half-sister to Tarlow, the Grade 1 heroine who won the Santa Margarita Invitational (G-1) and LaCanada Stakes (G-2), both 1 1/8 mile events. Goldilock's Bear is also a half-sister to the dams of multiple graded stakes winners Yankee Fortune and Go Go Shoot. Mr. Bowling’s second dam Madam Bear was a stakes winning sprinter. 
Mr. Bowling’s damsire Irish Tower was a multiple stakes winner from seven furlongs to 
1 1/4 miles. He is the damsire of 14 stakes winners, including Canadian Champion Filly Knights Templar and Dubai Golden Shaheen (G-1) hero Proud Tower Too. As a broodmare sire, Irish Tower is represented by only one winner at Classic distances, the Peruvian Group winner Paradisus. Irish Tower’s daughters produce mainly sprinter/milers.
Physically, Mr. Bowling appears to be an average sized colt with his sire’s muscular forequarters and a deep shoulder. He has a beautiful extended stride without excess motion. Mr. Bowling has a strong miler pedigree. It’s doubtful that the bulk of Istan’s offspring will want to run farther than 1 1/16 miles, although he may break through with the occasional 1 1/8 mile winner.  
Mr. Bowling’s off the pace running style and tenacious nature should carry him 1 1/16 miles, and he could place at 1 1/8 miles, but he will certainly be up against it going 1 ¼ miles and farther.  We’ll likely see the colt in the starting gate for the 1 1/16 mile Risen Star on February 25.


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Older Comments about 2012 Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile: Mr. Bowling...

Great work, Laurie ... I think it is worth noting that Mr. Bowling's sire, Istan, ran easily his lifetime best over the Churchill Downs main track.

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