Copper Tax Sharp in Saturday Work, Saratoga Possible

June 2, 2024

Copper Tax edged pacesetting Speedyness in Laurel Park’s Preakness (G1) Prep. (Jim McCue/MJC)

Jockey Jorge Ruiz Triples Saturday

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

LAUREL, Md. – Rose Petal Stable’s multiple stakes winner Copper Tax, an automatic qualifier for the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1), continues to train forwardly as his connections consider several options for a next start including the summer 3-year-old stakes at Saratoga.

Copper Tax worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 Saturday at Laurel Park for trainer Gary Capuano, fastest of 27 horses at the distance. It was the second breeze for the bay son of Copper Bullet since being pulled from consideration for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown May 18 at historic Pimlico Race Course, having earned a free berth by virtue of his victory in Laurel’s Federico Tesio April 20.

“We decided it wasn’t the best strategy to put him in the Preakness and we don’t regret that, although it was nice to be invited. That means a lot,” Rose Petal’s Chris Loso said. “We just wanted to take another strategy. Gary’s got the experience and we’re just looking at alternatives like running up at Saratoga at some point during the season. Everything goes through Gary.”

Copper Tax has won seven of 10 career starts including back-to-back stakes at Laurel in the 1 1/16-mile Private Terms March 23 and 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio, his most recent race. Copper Tax also owns stakes wins in Laurel’s James F. Lewis III and the Rocky Run at Delaware Park as a 2-year-old.

In all Copper Tax shows four timed works at Laurel following the Tesio, the previous three going one mile including 1:43.80 May 23. Two-turn dirt stakes for 3-year-olds at Saratoga include the Curlin July 19 and Jim Dandy (G2) July 27, both at 1 1/8 miles, and 1 ¼-mile Travers (G1) Aug. 24.

“I’m not sure which race but that’s definitely what we’d be looking at. Again, we take everything day by day. We look to make sure the horse is happy and sound,” Loso said. “It would be my father’s dream if that were to happen.

“We were raised up in Vermont and we used to go down to Saratoga during the summers and watch the races. It’s a beautiful track. It has a lot of history with my family as well as the track itself,” he added. “My father, one of his dreams, is to have a horse run at Saratoga. We hope that might be a strategy we take.”

Notes ~ ~ ~ 

Jockey Jorge Ruiz rode back-to-back winners Saturday aboard Mattitude ($12.40) in Race 5 and Thegirlfromireland ($5.60) in Race 6. Ruiz completed his hat trick with Dazzling Move ($3) in Race 8 … 

Shamrock Farm’s 4-year-old homebred Thegirlfromireland, placed second in last August’s All Brandy at Laurel, was making her 11th start and second off a nine-month layoff in the entry-level allowance for Maryland-bred/sired fillies and mares 3 and up … 

Dazzling Move, back on dirt after running fourth in the Honey Ryder May 4 on the Gulfstream Park turf, held off a late bid from Go Sherry Go for a popular triumph in the Saturday feature, an open entry-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-old fillies.

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