Juggernaut II, stung by a close defeat by arch-rival Dosdi at Foxfield last week, tops a field of steeplechasers named for the 22nd running of the Bowman Bowl Saturday at Belmont Plantation.
The three-mile timber race highlights the Fairfax Steeplechase meeting's seven-race card that opens with a maiden hurdles race at 2 p.m. A crowd of more than 10,000 is expected for the meeting, which will be run over Fairfax's unique English-type course off Rte. 7.
Dosdi, the Argentina-bred gelding who won the Bowman the past two years, will not be going Saturday. Trainer Charley Fenwick will be replacing Dosdi with a surprising newcomer to timber racing, Afilador.
"We're very high on Afilador," Fenwick said. "We got him from George Strawbridge last summer . . . he was a good performer for him . . . and we feel that he has the durability to become a fine timber horse."
Juggernaut II, the John Fisher-trained 10-year-old, was bred in France, placed in seven of eight races (winning three) in 1978 and was named timber horse of the year. His record this year is three victories in five starts.
One of those defeats came at the hands of Mod Man.