2023 Bowling Green Stakes: Channel Maker easy winner

It was golden-oldie hour at Saratoga on Sunday, when the nine-year-old Channel Maker showed the youngsters how to do it in a dramatic G2 Bowling Green, in which British shipper and hot favourite Rebel’s Romance lost his rider before the stretch run. Here the 2023 Bowling Green Stakes Recap

Bowling Green Stakes

G2, $250,000, 1m 3f turf, 4yo+

Channel makes it home

The Bowling Green at Saratoga on Sunday was a hive of non-stop drama before the race, during the race and at the wire, where the nine-year-old Channel Maker sprang a 15-1 shock ahead of fellow longshot Verstappen and Never Explain.

Before the race, second-favourite Soldier Rising was scratched in error and then reinstated, meaning that he could run for purse only with no betting on him. During the race, 1-2 favourite Rebel’s Romance clipped heels and lost his rider around the turn; no injuries were sustained.

And out there on the lead, the old-timer Channel Maker and Manny Franco stretched their slow early fractions all the way to the wire, easing clear late to win by two lengths from Verstappen, with Never Explain a head away third.


“The old man came through, he ran really well,” said trainer Bill Mott. “He’s one of the happiest horses going to the track.”

New York Racing Association rules prevent horses older than nine from competing, so this is Channel Maker’s final campaign before retirement. He has won ten races and almost $4m in prize-money, and is likely to head to the G1 Sword Dancer here on August 26, a race he won in 2020.

2023 Bowling Green Stakes Race Payouts

1. Channel Maker32.4015.009.50
2. Verstappen 13.006.30
3. Never Explain  5.80

Winning time: 2m 15.21s

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