Nakatomi rallies late to win Bowman Mill

October 31, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Marc Detampel, Qatar Racing and Bottle Rocket Stable’s Nakatomi and jockey Tyler Gaffalione stormed down the center of the main track to win the $150,000 Bowman Mill.

Gaffalione on riding at Keeneland, where he is the leading rider of the Fall Meet: “It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve been so blessed. Just happy to be here.”

Trained by Wesley Ward, he covered 6 furlongs in 1:10.33.

On winning his 13th race of the Fall Meet to tie Brad Cox for leading trainer honors. Ward and Cox both have runners in two races remaining on the card: “We’re getting serious now. Getting serious.”

Nakatomi was relegated to fifth in the early stages of the Bowman Mill while Chattalot and Hope in Him battled on the early lead through an opening quarter-mile fraction of :21.92. Around the far turn, Hope in Him began to fade while Freelancer and My Prankster moved in tandem in their attempt to catch Chattalot on the lead.

Meanwhile, Nakatomi began his charge around horses at the top of the lane, following a half-mile time of :45.29. Nakatomi surged past My Prankster inside the final eighth mile for a three-quarter-length win.

“It was kind of the surprise of the spring that (over a sloppy track at Keeneland in his first race) he beat Happy Soul, that filly that went on to do so well after that, so I knew he would really like this track. This is his home track. All my horses, when we run here at Keeneland – because we train here year-round – they kind of take it up a notch or two, which he did today. So, the whole (ownership) group is really excited and that’s what horse racing is all about,” remarked Ward.

Winning jockey Gaffalione said: “There was a lot of speed on form. He has a tendency to break a little slow, so I figured just let him get his feet under him and take our time.” 

Nakatomi paid $6.20, $3.20 and $2.40. My Prankster, the slight post-time favorite with John Velazquez in the saddle, paid $3.40 and $2.60. Chattalot, with Brian Hernandez Jr. in the irons, held third to return $2.60.

Brian Hernandez Jr., rider of third-place finisher Chattalot, commented: “We were on the lead and I thought we were going to punch on turning for home and they just ran us down late. (The fractions) might have been a little quick for him, but I let him do his thing. (The fast fractions) might have cost him a little bit.”

Freelancer faded to fourth and was followed by Lucky Shot, Hungry Henry and Hope in Him.

A Keeneland November Sale graduate, Nakatomi is a 2-year-old gelding by Firing Line out of the Flatter mare Applelicious. His Bowman Mill victory was worth $90,000, which increased his bankroll to $175,400 with a record of 5-2-1-1.

Click here for a replay of the race and the post-race interview with winning connections.

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Keeneland Press Release
Photo: Nakatomi (Keeneland Photos)

@jonathanstettin What a surprise….thank you—- thank you….I can say I was part of history.

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