How to bet the 2023 Bowling Green Stakes

July 28th, 2023

An overflow field of 11 has been entered to run 1 3/8 miles over the Saratoga inner turf in Sunday’s $250,000 Bowling Green S. (G2). Reigning Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) champ #9 Rebel’s Romance will make his second start of the season and is the clear one to beat in the grassy endeavor. I’ll key the favorite on top and focus on the vertical exotics beneath the imposing import.

Trained by Charlie Appleby, the five-year-old sports a fine 9-for-13 career line and left quite the impression in his U. S. appearance in the fall when dominating his foes and earning a massive 110 Brisnet Speed figure. The Dubawi gelding left something to be desired when seventh in the Sheema Classic (G1) in the desert in his seasonal bow, but the Godolphin homebred is surely much better than he showed on that evening and rates a huge chance on Sunday.

Rebel’s Romance is five-for-six lifetime on the lawn and comes in fresh for a second run of 2023 for a conditioner who is an expert when shipping horses to the U. S. The dark bay Irish-bred will range up into striking distance approaching the turn for home with Richard Mullen in for the ride.

I will use a trio of contenders underneath the top pick in the gimmicks. #3 Never Explain brings fine form to the field for trainer Shug McGaughey. An upset winner of the Dinner Party S. (G3) at Pimlico two back, the five-year-old has never been better and seems poised to thrive in his first run at a marathon trip on the green. The Kentucky-bred son of Street Sense has been in the top two in four straight and will have Luis Saez in the silks.

Defending champ #2 Rockemperor is not the most reliable runner in training, but the Chad Brown pupil defeated a solid cast when annexing the race last season and gets respect with Flavien Prat taking the reins. The Holy Roman Emperor gelding comes in fresh for his third run since the fall and can obviously fire over this turf course for a potent layoff trainer. The seven-year-old will be rallying late.

#6 Strong Quality is the pace of the race and could get brave if left alone for too long for conditioner Mark Casse. This Quality Road colt has shown improvement since moving to the lawn three back, and the four-year-old comes in with a rapid half-mile bullet move on the training course last Friday to signal his readiness for this endeavor. Florent Geroux will pilot the intriguing contender.

Bowling Green Wagers

$10 exacta key: 9 with 2,3,6 ($30)

$5 trifecta key: 9 with 2,3,6 ($30)