Bowen sixth on all-time stakes list after Selene success 

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AUBURN, Washington, (CMC) – Barbadian jockey Rocco Bowen won his 26th added-money race at Emerald Downs when he produced a strong late charge aboard 6-5 choice Ima Happy Cat to win the U.S. $50 000 Selene Stakes here Sunday.
Going six furlongs, he stalked the pace-setter and favourite Bella Mia before dominating the stretch run to reach the wire 2-1/2 lengths clear in a time of one minute, 9.68 seconds.
The victory marked the first stakes success for the three-year-old roan filly and the first of the new season for Bowen, who moved into sixth on the all-time list alongside Gary Baze.
“When I straightened her up in the stretch, I was loaded with horse today,” Bowen said afterwards.
“She got a monster figure in her (maiden) win at Golden Gate, she’s a great horse.”
Bella Mia and Brilliant Bird dueled early on as they hammered out fractions of 21.76 seconds for the quarter and 44.37 for the half mile.
Ima Happy Cat, bumped at the start, found her best strike nearing the seven-sixteenth pole before reeling in the leaders in a superb stretch run.
“She’s just a real quality filly,” said trainer Dan Markle.
Bella Mia, who won three stakes last year, held on for second.
Bowen, the two-time reigning Emerald Downs champion and current leader, picked up his second win on the nine-race card when he carried favourite Mintenized to a 1-3/4 length victory in race seven.
In another six-furlong trip, Bowen and the five-year-old gelding dueled with Elger’s Thorn through the first quarter before drawing off to take charge.

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