After two international endeavors, multiple Grade 1-winning turf veteran Channel Maker, the reigning Champion Turf Male, will make his stateside comeback in the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green on July 31 at Saratoga.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the 7-year-old English Channel gelding was a game second in the Neom Turf Cup (G1) on Feb. 20 in Saudi Arabia before a distant eighth to multiple Group 1 winner Mishriff in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) on March 27 at Meydan.
Channel Maker captured the 2018 Bowling Green when dead-heating with Glorious Empire and has finished a respective fourth and third in the previous runnings.
Following last year’s Bowling Green, Channel Maker added two Grade 1 triumphs to his ledger, capturing the Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga and the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park before running a close third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland. All three efforts netted a career-best 108 Beyer.
“He’s doing great, looks great and has travelled well,” Mott said. “He’s just a nice horse to have in the barn. He always shows up even if he doesn’t win.”
Following the Bowling Green, Mott said he would “absolutely” look at the Sword Dancer Invitational (G1) on Aug. 28 at Saratoga.
Owned by R.A. Hill Stable, Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Channel Maker boasts a 39: 7-6-5 record and lifetime earnings of $3,241,551.
Mott added that the Troy (G3) on Aug. 6 is a likely target for Casa Creed, who last out won the Jaipur (G1) on June 5 at Belmont.
The 5-year-old Jimmy Creed bay has won two straight races, capturing the Elusive Quality ahead of his Jaipur coup. The Troy, which is run at 5 1/2 furlongs, will be the shortest distance Casa Creed has raced in his 20-race career.
“We’re looking at the Troy,” Mott said. “We just have to see if 5 1/2 is good for him.”
Mott confirmed graded-stakes winner Antoinette will race in the Shuvee (G3) next Sunday. The homebred daughter of Hard Spun was a last-out second to Letruska in the Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Frank Fletcher Racing Operations’ J L’s Rockette, a recent maiden winner at Ellis Park, could make her next start in the Adirondack (G2). The juvenile daughter of Into Mischief worked a half-mile in 49.32 seconds on the Oklahoma training track on July 16.