Saturday's Grade 1 Flower Bowl was a showcase for the strength and depth of the European-bred turf horses as Nahrain (GB), Zagora (FR), Dream Peace (IRE) and I'm A Dreamer (IRE) all fought tooth-and-nail in the final quarter mile. Ultimately, Nahrain prevailed by a half-length over Zagora at the wire, providing her with a spot in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
The pace of the Flower Bowl, occurring over a Belmont turf course listed at "Yielding", was quite soft in the early stages with Hit It Rich carving out early fractions of 25.33, 51.73 and a pedestrian 1:17.43 for the three-quarter mark. The early leaders all three in the towel at the top of the stretch paving the way for a mad dash to the finish line.
A year ago in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, Nahrain couldn't hold on to a slim lead in deep stretch and lost by three-quarters of a length to Perfect Shirl. Is was s bitter defeat, one that Nahrain's connections are attempting to avenge in 2012. After a slow start to the season, Nahrain is rounding into form and, if her victory in Saturday's Flower Bowl is any indication, she will again be one of the top contenders for the Filly & Mare Turf at this year's Breeders' Cup.