Europeans dominate Flower Bowl

Updated: September 30, 2012, 12:01 AM ET
By Evan Hammonds | Bloodhorse

Nahrain edged Zagora and 2-1 favorite Dream Peace in a blanket finish in the $400,000 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes Sept. 29 at Belmont Park.

The daughter of Selkirk survived an inquiry after covering the 1 1/4 miles over a yielding turf course in 2:05.56.

The winner, owned by Sheikh Ahmed al Maktoum and trained by Roger Varian, was ridden by John Velazquez.

Nahrain, based in Europe, was making her second start in the United States. Last year she ran second as a 5-2 shot in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. She came to the Flower Bowl off a third-place finish in the Irresistible Jewel Blandford Stakes at the same 10 furlongs at the Curragh.

Sitting mid-pack early while well off the hedge, Nahrain tracked the soft pace set by Hit It Rich, who was gently pressed by Hessonite and Halo Dolly through early fractions of :25.33, :51.73, and 1:17.43. As the real running began, Halo Dolly pressed Hit it Rich and Zagora went for the leaders after a mile in 1:41.67. I'm a Dreamer rallied up the rail as Nahrain rallied between Zagora and Dream Peace to get the win.

Nahrain, bred in England by Darley and out of the Generous mare Bahr, paid $12, $7.90, and $4.30. Zagora returned $4.20 and $3.10. Dream Peace paid $2.80.