Slip Mahoney, Capella Breeze Ahead of Final Derby and Oaks Preps

March 26, 2023

Capella victorious stepping up against winners Feb. 3 at Turfway Park (Coady Photography)

Hit Show to Ship Next Weekend for Wood Memorial

NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Gold Square’s graded stakes-placed Slip Mahoney, who is targeting the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino on April 8 at Aqueduct Racetrack, breezed a half-mile in 48.40 seconds on Saturday with assistant trainer Dustin Dugas up over the Belmont Park dirt training track.

Slip Mahoney, trained by two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox, completed the work in company with Juddmonte’s stakes-placed Capella, who is aiming for a start in the Grade 3, $250,000 Gazelle on Wood Memorial Day. Capella was piloted through the work by jockey Manny Franco.

“The work was great,” said Dugas. “Slip Mahoney was on the inside and it was a really good move from the both of them. They broke off well and galloped out in 1:01, so it was a good gallop out. I was happy with it and both came back really well.”

The Wood Memorial is the final local prep for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on May 6 at Churchill Downs, awarding 100-40-30-20-10 qualifying points to the top-five finishers. Similarly, the Gazelle is the last local prep for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on May 5, offering the same point structure to the top-five finishers.

Slip Mahoney, a grey son of Arrogate, was last seen finishing a closing second in the Grade 3 Gotham on March 4 here, rallying from 13th-of-14 to finish 7 1/2 lengths back of the victorious Raise Cain. He earned 20 qualifying points for the effort and is currently 26th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard as of Sunday.

“He didn’t really require much encouraging yesterday,” Dugas said of the work. “He was going about it in a really nice way.”

Capella, a bay daughter of Quality Road and a half-sister to the Cox-trained multiple graded stakes-winner Bonny South, earned 15 Kentucky Oaks points when finishing third in the Busher on March 4 at the Big A, placing her in 28th on the leaderboard.

Dugas said he and Franco have been encouraged by Capella’s recent string of works.

“Manny was really happy with her,” said Dugas. “Just the way she works and does things, she does it very professionally and well within herself. She’s a really cool and honest filly. She’s really settled in since she’s been here and she took a second to get her bearings, but she’s very comfortable now. Fingers crossed if everything goes well that we can make it to the first Friday in May.”

Cox is also expected to start Gary and Mary West’s graded stakes-winner Hit Show in the Wood Memorial on the heels of a dominant 5 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3 Withers on February 11 at the Big A. Dugas said Hit Show, who breezed six furlongs in 1:12.60 Saturday at Fair Grounds, is expected to ship to Belmont Park after an anticipated final work next weekend at the Louisiana oval.

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