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Soldier Rising Seeks Graded Stakes Win in Bowling Green

After finishing second in a pair of grade 1 stakes in his last two starts, Soldier Rising  ranks as one the top older grass males in training.

Yet there is a rather noticeable asterisk attached to his resume. 

While he has finished second in a trio of grade 1 stakes and placed in graded stakes on six occasions, the $992,497 earner has yet to win a graded stakes.

“He is a good horse and one of the best in the division with some good horses,” trainer Christophe Clement said. “He always tries.”

Soldier Rising, a 5-year-old Frankel  gelding, will take another swing at that elusive graded stakes win July 30 in the $250,000 Bowling Green Stakes (G2T) for older horses at Saratoga Race Course.

He will face 10 rivals in the 1 3/8-mile test on the inner turf after rallying to finish second in the Manhattan Stakes (G1T) and Man o’War Stakes (G1T) at Belmont Park, losing by a combined margin of 4 1/4 lengths. 

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While the Bowling Green seems a suitable avenue for that initial win, Clement also sees Sunday’s stakes as an inviting prep for the Aug. 26 Sword Dancer Stakes (G1T), a race in which the son of the Pivotal  mare Sahrawi finished third last year.

“He’s training well and we’re excited to see him run. It’s a tough race but that’s the way it is,” Clement said.

Owned by Michael Dubb, Morris Bailey, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables, and Michael Caruso, Soldier Rising has won four of 17 career starts.

Clement will also send out Peachtree Stable’s Tawny Port  for his debut on turf.

The 4-year-old multiple grade 3-winning colt was seventh in last year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) for trainer Brad Cox but finished no better than fifth in his last four races and was shifted to Clement barn after a loss by more than 60 lengths in his last start, the Ben Ali Stakes (G3).

“I have been wanting to run him long on grass. His dirt form had been disappointing when he came to me so we decided to try something new,” Clement said abiut the son of Pioneerof the Nile. “He is training well on grass.”

Though he has yet to race on turf, Tawny Port was second on the all-weather surface at Turfway Park in the 2022 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3).

The Bowling Green will also feature the return to American shores for Godolphin’s Rebel Romance, winner of the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1T).

Trained by Charles Appleby, the son of Dubawi  was seventh March 25 in the $6 million Dubai Sheema Classic (G1), his only start since the Nov. 5 Turf.

Sunday’s race also features two past Bowling Green winners.

Rockemperor  won the 2022 Bowling Green for trainer Chad Brown and owners Madaket Stables, Dubb, Wonder Stables, Michael Kisber, and Caruso, but is winless since then and was ninth in the Manhattan after a disastrous trip.

Brown also entered grade 2-placed High Honors  who was a wide sixth in the Manhattan.

The veteran 9-year-old Channel Maker  will try to duplicate his 2018 win in the Bowling Green while making his 54th career start. The 2020 champion male grass horse and $3.7 million earner has lost his last seven starts for trainer Bill Mott and faded to 10th last time out in the two-mile Belmont Gold Cup (G2T).

Entries: Bowling Green S. (G2T)

Saratoga Race Course, Sunday, July 30, 2023, Race 9

  • Grade II
  • 1 3/8m
  • Inner turf
  • $250,000
  • 4 yo’s & up
  • 5:49 PM (local)



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