Can Captain D Outrun His Pedigree In The Pulpit Stakes?

November 29, 2019

American Giant Has Big Chance in Wait a While Stakes
Juvenile Showcase Kicks Off Gulfstream Stakes Schedule

Gulfstream Park Notes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Having already outrun his pedigree, Don and Rebecca Ming’s Captain D will seek to defeat 10 rivals in Saturday’s $75,000 Pulpit Stakes, a mile turf stakes for 2-year-olds, at Gulfstream Park.

The modestly bred gelding will be on a quest to win his second straight stakes in the Pulpit, one of six stakes on the Juvenile Showcase program that will kick off the 2019-2020 Championship Meet stakes schedule of 96 stakes, including 39 graded stakes, worth $28.6 million in purses.

Captain D has made his obscure sire, Gary D, proud in the first four races of his career, having won at first asking over Gulfstream’s main track before earning stakes placings in his subsequent three starts on turf. After finishing second in the Proud Man and third in the Armed Forces at Gulfstream, he broke through with a victory in the Juvenile Turf Sprint for Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park West Nov. 9.

“I never thought he’d mature into this kind of horse,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “He never showed much in the morning. First time out, I was surprised he won. Then, we put him on the turf because there wasn’t much options on dirt. Each time, he’s showed up.”

Gary D is a son of Successful Appeal who won three of 21 career starts for the Mings.

Captain D tracked the early pace before storming through the stretch to win by 5 ½ lengths going away in the mile Juvenile Turf.

“Last time, he was visually impressive. The race probably didn’t have too much depth to it, but he can only beat who shows up,” Joseph said. “He did everything right. He showed a little more speed in the race and he quickened very nicely and showed a good turn of foot.”

Captain D is scheduled to clash with Graceful Kitten for a third time after finishing behind the son of Kitten’s Joy in the Proud Man and Armed Forces.

“I think he’s definitely on the improve, and he’ll have to improve again because Graceful Kitten is in there and he beat him twice,” Joseph said. “The first time, he was beaten only by three-quarters of a length. The second time, Captain D was a little bit under the weather before that race. He had missed a work and wasn’t at his best. It’s possible we could turn the form on Graceful Kitten.”

Super Super Stable’s Graceful Kitten will seek to rebound from an eventful 13th-place finish in the Nov. 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita, where he set the pace into the stretch before ducking in and hitting the inside rail.

The Amador Sanchez-trained 3-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy entered the Breeders’ Cup with an undefeated record in three starts, all at Gulfstream Park. Graceful Kitten debuted with a victory June 24 before capturing the Proud Man and Armed Forces. Hector Berrios has the return mount.

Isabelle de Tomaso’s Irish Mias also brings stakes credentials into the Pulpit, having captured the Laurel Futurity two starts back. The Graham Motion-trained son of Sky Mesa, who finished second in a pair of races over Saratoga’s main track to open his career, is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Awad at Belmont. Rajiv Maragh has the call.

Ramon Dominguez’s Lookinatamiracle will try the turf for the first time after finishing third in the Grey (G3) over Woodbine’s synthetic surface. The Sandra Dominguez-trained son of Lookin At Lucky previously won his career debut. Carlos Montalvo will ride Lookinatamiracle for the first time Saturday.

Victoria’s Ranch’s King Guillermo, an eye-catching winner of his turf debut in his second career start at Gulfstream Park West; Andie Biancone’s Sole Volante, a three-length winner in his debut at Gulfstream Park West; Sinatra Stable’s Calibrator, a debut winner at Meadowlands; and Parkland Thoroughbreds and Backstretch Farms Inc’s Nettleton who finished sixth in the Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland after winning his debut at Belmont; are among the prominent entrants in the Pulpit.

King’s Honor, Fame to Famous and Factorino round out the field.

American Giant Has Big Chance in Wait a While Stakes

Live Oak Plantation’s American Giant will try to keep her record on turf perfect in Saturday’s $75,000 Wait A While, a mile turf stakes for 2-year-old fillies on the Juvenile Showcase card at Gulfstream Park.

The homebred daughter of More Than Ready will also seek to win her second straight stakes, having captured the Juvenile Filly Turf for Florida-bred fillies at Gulfstream Park West Nov. 9.

Trained by Michael Trombetta, American Giant has won all three of her starts on turf in her five-race career that also includes a pair of off-the-board finishes in two starts over Presque Isle Downs’ synthetic racing surface.

“I’m still trying to figure it all out, but what’s right in front of me is that she’s run three times on turf and she’s been good all three times, so we’ll stick with that,” Trombetta said.

American Giant earned stakes credentials last time out while defeating stablemate Our Little Jewel, the race favorite who closed to finish second, two lengths back.

“I kind of thought it would be more in the favor of the other filly because she’d had two turns, but American Giant has just been very good on the grass,” Trombetta said.

Luis Saez has the mount aboard American Giant.

Castleton Lyons’ Diamonds Are A and HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing LLC’s Envied have been entered in the Wait a While by trainer Ben Colebrook.  Diamonds Are A is 2-for-2 since being switched to turf after two races on dirt. The daughter of Street Sense broke through with a maiden win at Indiana Downs before repeating in an entry-level allowance at Churchill Downs.  Envied was stakes-placed at Louisiana Downs before finishing far back in the Jessamine (G2) at Keeneland. Samy Camacho was named on both fillies.

Three Rivers Stable Inc.’s Fujairah, who also finished far back in the Jessamine, will try to rebound Saturday at Gulfstream, where she previously broke her maiden in her turf debut and finished second in the Sharp Susan. Trainer Carlos David gave the call to Rajiv Maragh.

David Staudacher’s Sunset Promise, who broke her maiden over the Gulfstream Park turf in June, returns in the Wait a While after finishing second in the Selima at Laurel two starts back. Trainer Michael Maker has named Jairo Rendon to ride the daughter of Broken Vow.

Speightstown Gal, a debut winner in an off-the-turf race at Belmont, Lucky Jingle, a two-time winner from five starts for trainer Graham Motion; as well as maidens Cheermeister and Alafia, round out the field.

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