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.
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.
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.
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.
Bowling’s damsire Irish Tower was a multiple stakes winner from seven furlongs
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.
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.
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