ELMONT, N.Y. -- Excitement turned to concern for trainer Stanley Hough after he won the $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap with longshot Cacht Wells at Belmont Park on Saturday.
Cacht Wells, with Eibar Coa aboard, won the 1 3/8-mile turf race by a head over Relaxed Gesture, the even-money favorite. As Coa was galloping out, he felt Cacht Wells take a misstep and he pulled him up and dismounted. Cacht Wells was removed from the track by ambulance.
After speaking by cell phone with his assistant, who was with Cacht Wells on the backside, Hough said: "It doesn't appear to be bad. I'm hoping he just got tired and took a bad step."
Macaw was eased in the stretch and was vanned off the track as well.
Relaxed Gesture, ridden by Brice Blanc, was eager as the field headed into the first turn of the Grade 2 Bowling Green. Blanc elected to ease Relaxed Gesture back off the pace in between horses, while Cacht Wells assumed a sweet stalking spot behind the pacesetter, Salic Law. Over a course listed as firm, the fractions were absolutely dawdling: 26.28 seconds, 51.94, 1:17.19, and 1:40.93. The final time was 2:15.59.
Relaxed Gesture's trainer, Christophe Clement, said: "We were second-best today. The winner might have had the better trip."
Relaxed Gesture finished 2 3/4 lengths in front of the third-place finisher, Dread-naught. Exterior, Salic Law, and Navesink River completed the order of finish.
Cacht Wells ($55) had never run in a graded stakes in this country until the Bowling Green. A 5-year-old son of Poliglote, Cacht Wells is owned by Castletop Stable.
* In the $63,150 Shine Again Stakes, favored Souris passed High Peaks in deep stretch to win by a half-length. Don't Tell Ashlie was third, another 7 1/2 lengths behind. Cherry Bomb ran fourth in the four-horse field of fillies and mares.
Ridden by Eibar Coa, Souris ($3.70) covered the six furlongs in 1:11.09 over a fast track. A 5-year-old daughter of Defrere, Souris is trained by Steve Asmussen.