SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Friday action at Saratoga Race Course kicked off with Team Hanley’s Captain Bombastic fending off early challenges from stakes winners Dream Bigger and Chowda before drawing away to a stylish 5 ¼-length victory in the $100,000 Times Square division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series.
Sent off as the 3-5 post time favorite, the chestnut son of Forty Tales entered the 6 ½-furlong event for eligible New York-sired 3-year-olds from a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens presented by Runhappy on August 8 at the Spa.
Captain Bombastic was hustled out of the gate by jockey Luis Saez, who angled the colt one path to the inside and into contention as he found a frontrunning spot in between Chowda and Dream Bigger. All three stakes winners raced in tandem through a swift opening quarter in 21.80 seconds over the fast main track.
Approaching the far turn, Chowda began to retreat, leaving the two favorites alone on the front end. Through a half-mile in 44.10, Captain Bombastic had a slight advantage over Dream Bigger and began to distance himself from his foe. Captain Bombastic was under wraps once he hit the sixteenth-pole and finished in a final time of 1:15.36.
Dream Bigger finished second, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of third-place finisher Chowda. Slash Gordon and Ariesberg completed the order of finish.
“It was a battle. It was a pretty nice race,” said Saez, who won his third stakes race of the meet. “I knew I had horse and I was thinking to sit second or third behind the speed but when I saw Ariesberg didn’t break that well and I was there, I took it. When I came to the three-eighths, Jose [Ortiz, aboard Dream Bigger] started putting pressure on me but my horse was responding. When we came to the stretch, he went to the lead and took off. He was much the best.”
Jeremiah Englehart, who also saddled last-place finisher Ariesberg, said that he was a bit worried with the opening fractions.
“I was very concerned. In the paddock, Luis sounded like he wanted to be aggressive and it really wasn’t my plan,” Englehart said. “I knew my other horse would be a little fresh just coming off a layoff, but my plan with him was to let him settle and make a move if he could move into the race. Luis was aggressive and it ended up being the winning move because he took the race to the outside horse [Dream Bigger] and he knew what kind of horse he had under him and it worked out well.”
Bred in the Empire State by Chester and Mary Broman, Captain Bombastic notched a third restricted stakes win having captured the Sleepy Hollow on October 19 at Belmont Park and the Mike Lee on June 14 two starts back over Big Sandy.
“I thought it was a two-horse race, so I tried to put on as much pressure as I could early but Captain Bombastic was the better horse today,” said jockey Jose Ortiz, aboard runner-up Dream Bigger. “He beat me in the Mike Lee [June 14 at Belmont Park] and he did it again today.”
Captain Bombastic, whose record now stands at 8-4-2-1, returned $3.30 in victory while bringing his lifetime earnings up to $389,800.
Caption Bombastic wins the 2020 NYSSS Times Square
Live racing resumes on Saturday at Saratoga with an action packed 11-race card which will feature four graded stakes races, including the Grade 1, $300,000 Forego presented by America’s Best Racing at seven furlongs over the main track, the Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer going 1 ½ miles over the inner turf, the Grade 3, $100,000 Saranac for 3-year-olds going one mile over the inner turf and the Grade 2, $150,000 Amsterdam for 3-year-olds going six furlongs over the main track. First post is 1:10 p.m.
Saratoga Entries for Saturday, August 29
Photo: Caption Bombastic wins the 2020 NYSSS Times Square. Credit: