Parx’s Capo Kane Heads to Jerome Stakes This Friday at Aqueduct
Article by Reinier Macatangay
Despite the lure of Kentucky Derby points, only a five-horse field composes the $150,000 Jerome Stakes on Friday at Aqueduct. None of the entries are stars, but the expected favorite Swill is beatable for those looking for a betting race.
Swill faces two New York-breds in Hold the Salsa and Eagle Orb, a local turf winner in Original and Capo Kane, winner of a maiden race at Parx Racing.
Even though he is only a maiden winner, Capo Kane is the best alternative to Swill, which perhaps signals the overall weakness of this race. Nevertheless, he offers a few signs that hint at running well in this spot.
To recap his Parx win, Capo Kane took a Nov. 25 maiden race at one mile and 70 yards by 4 1/2 lengths with a 93 TimeformUS Speed Figure.
The most impressive part is that jockey Jeremy Laprida gave him a hand ride until the far turn. At that point, Capo Kane began to drift out and needed a few hits from Laprida to straighten him. Capo Kane had plenty of run left as he drew clear late.
Because he won at one mile and 70 yards, the route question is answered.
Considering the ease of his win, Capo Kane also can improve off the 93, which is only one point slower than Swill’s 94 in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2).
Plus, it is a sign of confidence for trainer Harold Wyner to put this horse on the Derby trail after only a Parx maiden win. He must see raw talent.
If Capo Kane is the third choice or higher, he is playable.
With that said, Swill is not ignorable in multi-race wagers.
Even though Swill ran only a 94 on TimeformUS when completing the superfecta in the Kentucky Jockey Club, he broke his maiden at Churchill Downs by three lengths on Sept. 24 in a seven-furlong sprint with a 102. To back up the race’s quality, runner-up Santa Cruiser went on to break his maiden on Nov. 15 at Churchill with a 100 TimeformUS Speed Figure.
Swill was likely undone in the Kentucky Jockey Club by a combination of the 1 1/16-mile distance and two turns. After saving ground, he set himself for a final move by tipping out on the final turn. But in the stretch, he came up empty.
Cutting back to a one-turn mile in the Jerome will help Swill. The main drawback is the price, which is possible to fall below 2-1 given the high-percentage trainer Brad Cox and small field. If by some chance the public leaves Swill alone, any odds above 5-2 might constitute value.
If there is room for another, the third betting priority is Eagle Orb.
In his runner-up finish in the one-mile Sleepy Hollow, Eagle Orb was second to Brooklyn Strong after setting an uncontested early pace. Of course, one start later Brooklyn Strong went on to capture the Remsen Stakes (G2).
Eagle Orb shows a 99 for his second in the Sleepy Hollow, which is the high TimeformUS dirt route figure in this field. Eagle Orb then won the six-furlong Notebook Stakes with a 100 on TimeformUS.
Given his slight fade late in the Sleepy Hollow, Eagle Orb might possess some distance limitations. Even if Eagle Orb does not want the one-mile distance, though, he might win by default anyway because of the weakness of the field. He is not the first priority, but he is not impossible.
Capo Kane, Swill and Eagle Orb are the three horses to consider using in the Pick 4. While that sounds like a large portion of a five-horse field, there is no single bullet in this race to rely on. None of these horses stand out in terms of speed figures or class.
For an interesting win or place wager, Capo Kane is the one. He owns the talent to move up in this division, and the public figures to ignore him. Otherwise, find an easier race on the card to attack.