Hunter O'Riley closed like a house afire from dead last to notch his first lifetime stakes victory in the $250,000 Bowling Green Stakes (G2) on July 29 at Saratoga.
Bred by Mike G. Rutherford in Kentucky, the son of Tiz Wonderful was a $120,000 purchase by Jarazen Stable at the 2014 Keeneland September Yearling Sale out of the Legacy Bloodstock consignment.
In the Bowling Green, Hunter O'Riley was the longest shot on the board at 16-1. Rider Florent Geroux was content to sit at the back of the pack through the first seven furlongs of the 1 3/8 mile turf test. Hunter O'Riley still had only one horse beaten when they straightened for home, but dug in to keep passing horses, and hit another gear in deep stretch to win by a neck over Bigger Picture.
Hunter O'Riley now has four wins from 15 starts, including a 1½-mile allowance race at Keeneland this spring. He is owned by Sean Shay and Michael J. Ryan.
"I had confidence going in,” said winning trainer Jimmy Toner. “He tries every time he runs. We figured we'd finish third or fourth today, that would be a good effort and we'll look for something after that. It's like one of those things, you're going to get that break-out race, and today was that breakout race - so we're really excited.”