While Grade 1 Runhappy Travers and Belmont Stakes-winner Tiz the Law pushed his work back a day due to sloppy conditions over the Saratoga main track, Runhappy Travers runner-up Caracaro went back to work on an overcast Saturday morning, recording an easy five-furlong breeze for trainer Gustavo Delgado.
Heavy thunderstorms hit the Capital Region around 8:00 a.m., resulting in sloppy conditions over the main track, but the show went on for the bay son of Uncle Mo, who went the first quarter in 25.60 seconds before finishing off his work in 1:01.02 under exercise rider J.J Delgado.
“We wanted something easy. In his first work after the Travers, we just want to see where we’re at,” said Delgado’s son and assistant Gustavo Delgado, Jr. “Ideally, we’ll have [Hall of Fame jockey] Javier [Castellano] aboard next Saturday. We’ll see during the week how he comes back from this work and where his energy level is at, but so far, he’s doing well.
Delgado said Caracaro is familiar with breezing over a wet track, having worked twice over a “wet fast” track in June at his home base of Gulfstream Park West.
“He kind of likes it. He does well over it,” Delgado, Jr. said.
Owned by Global Thoroughbred and Top Racing, Caracaro earned a 92 Beyer Speed Figure in his second-out graduation in January at Gulfstream Park ahead of a strong runner-up effort to Country Grammer in the Grade 3 Peter Pan on July 16 at the Spa.
Last out, Caracaro garnered a career-best 101 Beyer when runner-up to likely Kentucky Derby favorite Tiz the Law in the Runhappy Travers finishing 5 ¼ lengths behind the four-time Grade 1 winner.
Caracaro will be Delgado’s third Kentucky Derby starter after Majesto [18th, 2016] and Bodexpress [13th, 2019], both of whom arrived at the “Run for the Roses” off runner-up efforts in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.
“We’ve always been Derby dreamers,” Delgado, Jr. said. “With Majesto and Bode, we were really trying to qualify for the big race. Bode was a maiden when he ran, and he was in the 21 post. We only needed one scratch and it was [morning line favorite] Omaha Beach. This one has shown so much talent since we got him. His speed figures are improving.”
Caracaro will put the finishing touches on his serious Kentucky Derby preparation next Saturday and is scheduled to fly out to Louisville the following day. He will be joined by Bodexpress, who worked five furlongs in 1:01.88 on Saturday, and will likely target an allowance event on Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby undercard.
Bred in Kentucky by SF Racing, Caracaro was purchased as a weanling for $95,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November Sale, where he was consigned by Buckland Sales.
NYRA Press/ Photo Credit-NYRA