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2012 Bowling Green Handicap

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Air Support wins the 2012 Bowling Green Handicap
Air Support horse racing

Air Support (outside) wins the 2012 Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont Park

© Vanessa Ng
September 8, 2012

Saturday's feature race at Belmont Park was the $200,000 Bowling Green Handicap (G2) for older horses going 1 1/4 miles on the inner turf course. Just 4598 fans were on hand despite free admission, under overcast skies with intermittent showers and temperatures in the low 80's. United Nations Stakes (G1) runner-up Air Support was sent off as the 7-5 favorite in the field of 5 off a third place finish in an allowance last out. In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice Brilliant Speed off a third place effort in the Sword Dancer (G1), and 11-4 third choice Newsdad, fourth in both the Man O'War (G1) and Sword Dancer.

8-1 longest shot Bombaguia went to the lead first time by and set slow fractions of 26.06, 50.55, and 1:14.90 while pressed by Newsdad to his outside, with favorite Air Support stalking the lead pair in third another 1 1/2 lengths back. Entering the stretch, Newsdad tired and dropped back to last as Bombaguia opened up a 2 length lead through 1 mile in 1:39.91. Air Support steadily gained on the pacesetter, picking up the pace in the final furlong to win by a head in 2:06.12 over the good inner turf course. It was a long 7 1/4 lengths back to late-running Brilliant Speed third.

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