Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes

Flower Bowl Invitational 2013 | The 37th Running of the Flower Bowl Invitational will take place on Saturday, September 28th. The card also features four further grade I events: the $400,000 Beldame Invitational, the $400,000 Vosburgh Invitational, the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and the 95th running of the prestigious $1,000,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Online betting on the Flower Bowl Invitational is available at Sportsbook.com (also for US bettors) with quite decent odds.

The History of Flower Bowl

Flower Bowl Invitational BettingThe Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes is a Grade 1 flat race over one and a quarter miles on turf for three-year-old and upwards fillies and mares. The race was run on dirt in 1987 but reverted to turf the following season. It is held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York with prize money of $600,000. It is now a recognised trial for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf and attracts some of the best fillies and mares from across the world.

The race was first held in 1978 with the inaugural running won by the French-trained Waya, ridden by Angel Cordero Jr. The race was named after Flower Bowl, Brookmeade Stable’s winner of the 1956 Ladies Handicap at Belmont Park and top class broodmare. She was the dam of Bowl Of Flowers, the champion two and three-year-old filly.

The Winners

The Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes has been won by some great mares including Colstar (2000), who won the 1999 Martha Washington Stakes, the 2000 Gallorette Handicap, the 2000 and 2001 Locust Grove Handicap and the 2001 All Along Stakes.

European raiders have enjoyed considerable success in recent years. Sir Henry Cecil sent out Yashmak to win the race under Corey Nakatani in 1997 and Ed Dunlop was successful with his consistent filly Lailani in 2001. Godolphin’s 1000 Guineas and Oaks heroine Kazzia won the race in 2002 and Dermot Weld gave Ireland their first Flower Bowl success with Dimitrova in 2003, completing a hat-trick of European trained winners. Kazzia had Starine back in fourth when she won the Flower Bowl but finished behind Robert Frankel’s mare in the Breeders’ Cup on her final racecourse appearance.

Roger Varian’s Nahrain provided Roger Varian with his first winner in the race in 2012, having finished second in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. The four-year-old filly by Selkirk was ridden by John Velazquez. Unfortunately she was unable to reproduce that running at the Breeders’ Cup 2012 and beat only one home.

One of the more surprising winners was River Memories who ended a run of seventeen consecutive defeats when winning the Flower Bowl in 1989. Soaring Softy won the race in 1999 before winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, her seventh win in eight starts. She was voted the 1999 American Champion Female Turf Horse. Stacelita was an impressive winner in 2011 and was sent off betting favourite for the Breeders’ Cup only to finish well beaten behind Perfect Shirl. She was a high class filly in France before joining Chad Brown.

Riskaverse won the race in 2004 but was sent off a 35-1 outsider when winning it for a second time in 2005. She had been beaten in her previous four starts but found extra to beat the 6-year-old Wonder Again by a head under Jose Santos. Trainer Pat Kelly put the victory down to her love of the track where she was recording her fifth victory on turf.

Like most similar races, this a popular betting event and we expect a lot of action for the 2013 Flower Bowl.

The Records

Riskaverse (2004 and 2005) is the only horse to win the event more than once in its 30 year history. The most times the Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes has been won by a single jockey is four by Jean-Luc Samyn (Dismasted 1985, Christiecat 1992, Far Out Beast 1993 and Colstar 2000). In 1986, Scoot and Dismasted dead-heated for the win. The fastest time in the race was set by Lahudood in 2007 (1:59.05). William Mott has the best training record with four wins (1988, 1994, 1995, 2008) whilst both Peter Brant (1980, 1986, 1989) and Fox Ridge Farm, Inc. (1992, 2004, 2005) have owned three winners. Julie Krone is the only female rider to win the race having done so aboard Gaily Gaily in 1988.

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