First Captain Posts Bullet Breeze for Jockey Club Gold Cup

July 31, 2022

Maiden winner Capture the Flag possible for G1 Hopeful

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – West Point Thoroughbreds, Siena Farm, Woodford Thoroughbreds and Bobby Flay’s First Captain breezed a bullet half-mile in 46.80 Saturday over the Saratoga main track in preparation for a start in the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 3 at Saratoga, which offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The 4-year-old Curlin colt finished a heartbreaking second last out in the 10-furlong Grade 2 Suburban on July 9 at Belmont, defeated a nose by Dynamic One.

“He worked really well. I took him over to the main track and he worked good and came out of it good. He was happy this morning,” McGaughey said.

McGaughey unveiled an impressive maiden winner Saturday at Saratoga when Allen Stable, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor, Derrick Smith, Westerberg and Jonathan Poulin’s Capture the Flag edged clear to a three-length score in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight over the Spa main track.

By Quality Road and out of 2017 Grade 1 Flower Bowl winner War Flag, Capture the Flag stalked in third position under Luis Saez before launching a wide rally to secure the victory in a final time of 1:06.17 and garnering a 61 Beyer.

“He had trained good and done well all along. We thought he would run well,” McGaughey said.

McGaughey, who conditioned War Flag to her prominent score in the 10-furlong Flower Bowl over the Belmont turf, said he wanted to start the young colt on the main track.

“We’ll see where he takes us from there. We can always go to the turf if we need to,” McGaughey said. “They look a lot alike. He’s got a lot of sense, she had a lot of sense.”

McGaughey said Capture the Flag will likely target the Grade 1, $300,000 Hopeful on September 5 at the Spa.

Annette Allen’s Stolen Holiday, a 5-year-old War Front mare, breezed a half-mile in 52.13 Sunday over the Oklahoma training turf.

McGaughey said a potential target is the Grade 2, $400,000 Ballston Spa, a 1 1/16-mile turf test on August 27. The consistent bay, who sports a ledger of 10-4-2-1, made the grade last out with a front-running score in the Grade 3 Eatontown on June 18 at Monmouth Park.

NYRA Press Office

Photo: First Captain capturing the G3 Pimlico Special (Maryland Jockey Club)

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