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Preakness Stakes News | Copper Tax Possible
Copper Tax (Tim Sudduth/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Preakness Stakes News | Copper Tax Possible

Copper Tax, trained by Laurel Park-based Gary Capuano for Rose Petal Stables, is possible for the Preakness Stakes (G1).

Copper Tax earned an automatic berth to the race by virtue of his three-quarter-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio April 20 at Laurel.

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Capuano, who ran third in the 1997 Preakness with Kentucky Derby runner-up Captain Bodgit, said while a decision will be made in the coming days, Mystik Dan’s upset of favorites Fierceness and Sierra Leone may play a factor.

“It might thin the [Preakness] field out a little bit. We’ll see how it is in the next few days and see how things shake out,” Capuano said. “The door’s not closed yet. It actually opened up a little bit.

“Baffert is going to come with a couple real good horses and he’ll be the factor in there, obviously. The Derby winner, he got a great trip. He put himself in a good position,” he added. “[Copper Tax] is in good shape. Everything looks good with him. We’re still a little bit up in the air trying to figure things out.”

Purchased for just $45,000 as a yearling in 2022, Copper Tax has run 10 times with seven wins, four in stakes, including back-to-back victories in the Tesio and March 23 Private Terms, both going two turns at Laurel, where he also captured the seven-furlong James F. Lewis III last fall.

Copper Tax has yet to breeze back since the Tesio, delayed over the weekend by rainy weather.

“I did let him stretch his legs and gallop on pretty strong [Saturday] and he loved it out there,” Capuano said. “He’s doing good. We’ll see how this week goes, how the weather and the track holds up and how much I can do with him between now and probably the end of the week and go from there.”

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