Capo Kane Third in the Withers After Setting the Pace
February 8th, 2021
Article by Dick Jerardi
Featured Photo from bloodhorse.com
There are several ways to look at Capo Kane’s third-place finish in Saturday’s Grade III Withers Stakes at Aqueduct.
The 3-year-old colt seized the lead at the start, still held a comfortable lead in the stretch and then tired in the final 200 yards. While that is certainly true, it is also true that the three horses chasing Capo Kane finished last, next to last, and next to next to last.
It was Parx-based 66-1 Mr. Doda who applied early pressure to Capo Kane. It was Mr. Doda who also finished a bit more than 66 lengths behind at the finish of the mile and an eighth race.
Risk-Taking from the powerful Chad Brown won the race convincingly, but perhaps the son of top stallion Medaglia d’Oro got the winning trip on that surface that day.
Capo Kane threw down solid quarter miles of :24.02, :24.69, 24.46 and 25.30 before that final eighth that he ran in just :14.50.
Perhaps, the 9 furlongs is a bit beyond Capo Kane’s scope. Also possible that missing three days of training because of snow removal at Parx was an issue. However, it is also true that the winner, stabled at Belmont Park, also missed two days of training that week.
“I got away with some nice fractions,’’ Capo Kane’s trainer Harry Wyner said. “He just got a little tired the last 70 yards. I thought he ran a great race.’’
Hey, they paid $26,000 for a horse that has won stakes and is now graded stakes placed. Not a bad deal.
Capo Kane got an 84 Beyer figure when he won The Jerome, an 81 for his third in The Withers.
Next up for Capo Kane is the March 6 Gotham Stakes, also at Aqueduct. That is a one-turn mile with 50 Kentucky Derby points on the line, more than enough to get the winner a place in the Derby starting gate, should the connections want to go.
The Derby, Wyner said, remains the goal. The trainer does not think The Withers distance was the issue.
“I think it was the track,’’ he said. “The track was playing to closers and it was a little heavy…It was the first time going a mile and an eighth. He missed a couple of days of training.’’
It generally is not a straight line from the Derby Dream to the Derby. The eventual winners do not all show up unbeaten.
“We’re still alive,’’ Wyner said. “The best horses get beat. Secretariat got beat.’’
Capo Kane has now raced four times, with two wins, a second, a third and earnings of $144,500, more than five times his purchase price.
So, a great deal whether the colt is good enough for Derby or not. We will know more about that part in a month.