At the age of ten Caps Classic rekindled his love affair with a half-mile track by posting a come-from-behind victory in Friday night’s (January 26) $10,300 feature race at Maywood Park with a 1:55.3 clocking for the Ken Rucker Stable.
The one-time speed horse “has become a stalker at this stage of his career,” said winning driver Mike Oosting.
“He still loves a half-miler and he can still leave well but nowadays it’s better for him to come from out of it. When he’s feeling good like he was tonight he can still blow by some of these fields.”
Victory No.1 in his third season start for Illinois owners Engle Stable and the Rucker Stable was Caps Classic’s 24th win since 2003 and 22 have come either at Maywood Park or at Yonker’s Raceway.
Caps Classic, who raced as an entry with Cambustion because of common ownership, left from post six in the field of eight $25,000 claiming horses and in the early on things didn’t appear to be going his way.
As expected, the speedy 8-5 favourite Deville (Josh Sutton) had little trouble getting command from the two-slot after being pushed in the first turn by Cambustion (Sam Widger). After a somewhat soft :28.2 first panel, Caps Classic was sitting sixth, six-plus lengths off the leader.
Brandon Simpson took Indian Territory out of the three-hole and went after Deville in the second turn, racing outside of the pacesetter through a slow :29.4 second quarter. Caps Classic was now seventh, only ahead of the breaking Allamerican Raider, and the veteran pacer had three horses in front of him in the outer flow.
Fox Valley Whiz (Dale Hiteman) made a bold three-wide move on the backside and both he and Indian Territory cleared Deville soon after the 1:26.4 three-quarter pole and they appeared to be puling away.
However, Oosting had a cocky Caps Classic ready to roll and he did coming out of the last turn, zipping past in deep stretch and nailing down a three-quarter of a length victory over a game Indian Territory. Fox Valley Whiz took third, beaten two-plus lengths.
“I was hoping they would battle more than they did in the early going” said Oosting.
“As it turned out, it didn’t matter. Caps Classic is usually trained at the farm but they took him to Balmoral last week. They took everything off him and let him go against a colt that he had no trouble beating and that blew him right up. He was full of confidence tonight.”
Caps Classic is edging his way towards the half-million mark in career earnings. The Illinois bred mainstay’s career bankroll now stands at $476,167.
Courtesy Of Mike Paradise, Publicity Director, Maywood Park