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NYSSS Times Square Preview: Captain Bombastic a Potential Lock
Captain Bombastic winning the Mike Lee (Credit: NYRA / Chelsea Durand)

NYSSS Times Square Preview: Captain Bombastic a Potential Lock

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Team Hanley’s Captain Bombastic looks like a potential lock as the heavy favorite in Friday’s $100,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series (NYSSS) Times Square division at Saratoga.

The Times Square is a 6 1/2-furlong dirt sprint restricted to 3-year-olds eligible for the NYSSS. This year’s edition is the opening event on a 10-race card that includes the Lake George Stakes (G3) and has a local post time of 1:10 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Times Square:

1. Chowda 6/1 – He cuts back to this distance for his first start since winning February’s 8-furlong Gander Stakes against state-bred rivals. He lost by double-digit lengths in his 2 prior starts at this distance, but in his defense, those were his first career appearances and he’s improved since then.

2. Captain Bombastic 3/5 – The top choice on the morning line won June’s Mike Lee Stakes to earn a shot in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1), where he finished fourth against several elite sophomore sprinters. He reunites with rider Irad Ortiz, Jr., aboard for his maiden-breaking debut last September.

“He’s had a couple of good works, so everything is going well,” said trainer Jeremiah Englehart. “There are still a decent group of horses in here and you have to run the race, but he’s doing well, so hopefully he runs his race and does well.”

3. Ariesberg 50/1 – He defeated open company at Finger Lakes to break his maiden last November but hasn’t raced since finishing last of five against state-breds in January. The favorite’s stablemate needs to greatly improve upon his career-best 52 Beyer Speed Figure to contend here.

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4. Slash Gordon 10/1 – He won his career unveiling in March while going 6 furlongs at Aqueduct, then disappeared until resurfacing here as a first-time gelding. He’s a half-brother to multiple stakes winner My Boy Tate and keeps rider Manny Franco, who wins 18% with trainer Michelle Nevin.

5. Dream Bigger 7/5 – He returns to dirt sprinting after a failed turf route attempt in the Cab Calloway Stakes. He has 3 New York-bred stakes scores on his resume, but he must figure out how to turn the tables on Captain Bombastic after finishing third as the bettors’ top choice in the Mike Lee.

“The distance will help, without a doubt,” said trainer Rudy Rodriguez. “He’s run better on the dirt, so this race is coming up and we’ll take it from there. He’s training well and doing very good.”

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