Hyper Drives to Victory in Bowling Green (G2)
By Jon Forbes | 09/07/2013 06:21 PM ET
Hyper employed a strong turn of foot to earn his first graded stakes victory on Saturday in Belmont Park's Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green Handicap for 3-year-olds and up.
Content to race in fifth for most of the 1 ¼-mile turf race, Hyper made a four-wide move to advance within striking range as the field entered the far turn, was second at the top of the stretch, took the lead approaching the eighth pole, and shrugged off a late challenge from Finnegans Wake to prevail by a half-length.
Boisterous, the 3-5 favorite, finished third, beaten 2 ½ lengths, after checking hard and bouncing off the hedge inside the quarter pole.
"My horse didn't break too sharp today, for whatever reason," said winning jockey Javier Castellano. "My goal in my mind was to keep him relaxed the first part of the race and then find the kick. 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."
Backed as the 5-2 second choice, Hyper returned $7.90 for a $2 win wager and completed the distance over the inner turf course in 2:01.37.
It was the second straight stakes victory for Hyper, a 6-year-old who had won the restricted John's Call by 1 ¾ lengths on July 31 at Saratoga Race Course in his most recent start. He also was second in the Grade 2 Colonial Turf Cup in June at Colonial Downs and in the Good Reward overnight stakes in May at Belmont.
"He's always trained well," said Cherie DeVaux, assistant to trainer 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."
Hyper, a homebred son of Victory Gallop, is owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the leading owners at the recently concluded Saratoga Race Course meet. In 21 career starts, Hyper has posted a record of 10-5-2 and has earned $554,700, including $150,000 for his Bowling Green triumph.
Quick Casablanca was fourth and was followed home by London Lane and Farhaan.