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LOUISVILLE, KY – Columbine Stable’s unbeaten Carribean Caper was a dazzling winner of the $275,000 Dogwood Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs on a Saturday that saw King Fury and Everett’s Song clinch a pair of inaugural stakes on the undercard.
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Carribean Caper swept three-wide on the turn to reel in the early leaders and drew away in the stretch for an easy 6-length victory over Someone Said So in Saturday’s 46th running of the Dogwood to remain unbeaten in 5 starts.
Carribean Caper ran 7 furlongs in 1:22.57 over fast track under Colby Hernandez, who rode the winner for trainer Al Stall Jr.
“I was happy to see her leave the gate well and get to the outside,” Stall Jr. said. “She’s a really classy animal. I’m really proud to train her.”
This was the first graded stakes win for Carribean Caper, who previously won the $100,000 Audubon Oaks at Ellis Park in her stakes debut. The $60,570 first prize jumped Carribean Caper’s earnings to $238,060.
Sent off as the odds-on 2/5 favorite in the field of six 3-year-old fillies, Carribean Caper paid $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10. Someone Said So, a 10/1 longshot ridden by Adam Beschiza, returned $6.40 and $3. Malloy, also at 10/1 with Joe Talamo up, was 2 1/4 lengths back of the runner-up and paid $3.20 to show.
Shesa Mystery, Patty H, and Coppelia completed the order of finish. Li’l Tootsie was scratched.
Coppelia, breaking from the rail, and Patty H, from post #5, battled for the early lead down the backstretch through fractions of :22.42 and :44.88. Someone Said So rated just off the leaders and Carribean Caper rated in the clear in fourth.
Midway around the turn, Carribean Caper dragged Hernandez to the front with a sweeping move. She poked her head in front at the top of the homestretch and easily put away her five rivals down the lane.
“She broke pretty well today and I was able to get her to the outside pretty easily,” Hernandez said. “I got her into a nice rhythm and she went on with it. Today’s race was all her. All I had to do was hang on.”
Carribean Caper is a daughter of Speightstown out of the Dixie Union mare Checkupfromzneckup and was bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm. She was purchased by Columbine Stable’s Andrea Pollack for $250,000 at 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale from consignor VanMeter-Gentry Sales.
Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimney Farm LLC’s King Fury proved he was much the best in the inaugural running of the $275,000 Bourbon Trail for 3-year-olds on Saturday at Churchill Downs as he widen his advantage without urging down the stretch en route to a 13-length romp over Bourbon Thunder.
Trained by Kenny McPeek and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., King Fury covered the 1 3/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:56.01, just .04 off Idol’s 2020 track record of 1:55.97.
“He was really impressive today,” McPeek said. “We’re very proud of how he ran. He’s a really talented horse and showed that today.”
The field of seven sophomores was compact heading into the first turn as King’s Ovation emerged with a slight advantage over Dr. Jack through moderate early clips of :23.71 and :48.13.
Heading onto the backstretch, King Fury was rated in sixth but was only a couple of lengths off the lead. After a 1/2-mile, King Fury was advanced through a seam by Hernandez and drew within striking distance.
Dr. Jack took over on the turn after 6 furlongs in 1:12.05, but King Fury loomed on the outside, took command leaving the final turn, and powered home down the stretch as Hernandez sat still in the saddle except to throw a couple of crosses with the reins.
The victory was worth $166,710 and increased King Fury’s earnings to $579,449 with a record of 4-1-0 in 10 starts. Three of his wins have come at Churchill Downs, including a maiden win and stakes victory in the $98,000 Street Sense last year as a 2-year-old.
Previously, King Fury finished fifth of seven in the $1.25 million Travers (G1) at Saratoga. Earlier this year, he won the $200,000 Lexington (G3) at Keeneland and finished second to Masqueparade in the $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3).
“With a horse like this, you just really have to stay out of their way,” Hernandez Jr. said. “He’s run in some tough races this year, and today, he was able to settle in nicely at the rail around the first turn. And turning for home, he got clear and was much the best.”
King Fury is a Kentucky-bred son of Curlin out of the Grade 1-winning Flatter mare Taris and was bred by Heider Family Stables. Fern Circle Stables’ Paul Fireman paid $950,000 to acquire King Fury at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga Select Yearling Sale.
King Fury returned $3, $2.60 and $2.10 as the odds-on 1/2 favorite. Bourbon Thunder, who rallied for second under Chris Landeros, returned $4.20 and $3.20 with Dr Jack finishing another 1 1/4 lengths back in third under Tyler Gaffalione and paying $3 to show.
It was another 3 1/4 lengths back to Sermononthemount, who was followed in order by King’s Ovation, Gagetown, and Angkor.
A fast early pace set up the closing late kick for SAB Stable Inc.’s Delaware Park invader Everett’s Song as he rallied to a 2 3/4-length victory over He’smyhoneybadger in Saturday’s first running of the $275,000 Harrods Creek for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs.
Everett’s Song, trained by Dale Bennett and ridden by Pablo Morales, covered the 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.68 to give the trainer, jockey, and ownership group, headed by Diane Olsen, their first wins at Churchill Downs.
The winner’s share of $162,525 increased Everett’s Song’s earnings to $226,525 with a record of 3-1-0 in 4 starts.
The connections were considering Everett’s Song for Saturday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) over 1 1/8 miles at Parx – won by Hot Rod Charlie with Midnight Bourbon second – but prudently opted for the seven-furlong Harrods Creek instead.
“I owe it all to my owners for wanting to run in this spot,” Bennett said. “I thought the distance would fit him just fine from his previous three races.”
Dreamer’s Disease led the field of 10 down the backstretch through swift early fractions of :21.81 and :44.61 with Emerald Forest tracking in second and Everett’s Song in the clear well back in seventh.
Leaving the turn, Everett’s Song cut the margin in half and was one of six horses that appeared to have a chance to win with a furlong to run.
The collapse of the fast pace benefitted Everett’s Song as he surged to the front inside the final 1/16 of a mile and edged clear late.
“I knew I had a lot of horse underneath me,” Morales said. “I feel like every time I asked him to run he would just take off. Coming around the turn, I couldn’t wait to tip him out. Inside the final furlong he kept giving me more and more. I’m just extremely happy with his performance today and so thrilled for Dale and the owners. He’s a really nice horse.”
A maiden winner in July and 3-length victor of a first-level allowance in August at Pimlico, Everett’s Song returned $27.60, $11.40 and $7.80 at odds of 12/1. He’smyhoneybadger rallied from second to last for second under Martin Garcia and paid $12.60 and $6.60, with last-to-third Ram finishing another length back in third and returning $8.20 to show under Rafael Bejarano.
Bob’s Edge, the tepid 3/1 favorite, was fourth and was followed by Emerald Forest, Wolfie’s Dynaghost, Flags Up, Dreamer’s Disease, Shadow Matter, and St. Louis Derby runner-up Irish Unity.
Everett’s Song was bred in Kentucky by Maccabee Farm. He is a gelded son of Liam’s Map out of the Indian Charlie mare Pelipa.
“I still think he wants more distance,” Bennett said. “I’m not sure what we’ll end up doing next but we’re really pleased with his effort today.”
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