AUBURN, Washington, CMC – It may be early days yet in the 2018 Emerald Downs campaign but already, very few will dare to bet against another riding title for Barbadian Rocco Bowen.
On Friday at the scenic Pacific Northwest oval, the two-time reigning champion produced another masterclass as he reeled off four wins to dominate the seven-race card.
With the success, Bowen leapt to 25 wins for the new season, already 13 clear of Kevin Orozco, with Gary Wales two back in third on 10.
Bowen opened his account in race two over six furlongs when he paired with 4-1 choice Lucky Cleric to beat the three-year-olds and upward by 1-1/4 lengths.
He stalked the pacesetter Atta Boy Bear before launching his bid in the stretch and sweeping the three-year-old chestnut gelding to the front in the closing stages.
Bowen’s second win came in a 5-1/2 furlong sprint in race three, when he produced a gate-to-wire effort aboard favourite Whirlington to crush the three-year-old maiden fillies by 7-3/4 lengths.
The pair were nearly five lengths clear with a quarter run and there was no letting up, and they took the wire unchallenged.
Bowen won his third in a row when he partnered with another favourite Crushing Candy to dismiss the three-year-olds and upward over a mile.
Five-to-one choice Guardingthemoney laid down easy fractions of 23.31 seconds for the quarter and 45.78 for the half, with Crushin Candy chasing from second.
Bowen put the five-year-old bay gelding to the front nearing the five-sixteenth but was then forced to hold off a late bid from Remembertobreathe, to take the wire three-quarters of a length clear.
The 29-year-old topped off a fabulous day in the saddle when he steered 7-2 bet The Gold Monkey to a narrow victory by a neck over the three-year-olds and upward, going a mile in race five.