Bing Cherry Racing and Leonard Liberto's Capo Kane (Street Sense), a romping 6 1/4-length winner of the one-mile Jerome S. at Aqueduct Jan. 1, will look to add a furlong and a graded race to his resume in the GIII Withers S. at Aqueduct Saturday. Trained by Harold Wyner, the bay colt was runner-up in his seven-furlong debut at Parx Oct. 28. He graduated by a front-running 4 1/2 lengths going one mile and 70 yards at Parx Nov. 25 and had everything his own way when loose on the lead in the Jerome last time out.
Chad Brown sends out Klaravich Stable's Risk Taking (Medaglia d'Oro). Off the board sprinting over the main track at Belmont and over the Aqueduct lawn to open his career last fall, the bay colt graduated over track and trip Dec. 13.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out a pair of maiden winners in the Withers. Repole Stables, St Elias Stables and Michael Tabor's Overtook (Curlin), a $1-million KEESEP yearling, was a two-length winner while shedding blinkers in a one-mile special weight at Aqueduct in his third start Dec. 20.
“I think he's learning,” Pletcher said of the son of Grade I winner Got Lucky (A.P. Indy). “He's gained some confidence with the experience and we felt like the blinkers needed to come off. He got a nice hot pace to run at which helped. He's an improving horse who is bred to get better with more distance and more time. We've seen him making progress throughout the fall and winter. This is a big step up, but hopefully he's up for it.”
Pletcher also saddles Donegal Racing's Donegal Bay (Uncle Mo). The bay gelding opened his career with a sixth-place effort going 6 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga last August and was last seen romping to a front-running 4 1/4-length maiden score going one mile at Gulfstream Dec. 12.
“I think it was the additional time, having a start under his belt as well as having some good works leading into that,” Pletcher said of that graduation effort. “He also got a better start, which a lot of horses do in their second race. He has a pretty high-cruising speed. Pedigree-wise, he's bred to go that far. It's a big step up from a maiden race, but we're hoping for a big run.”
Donegal Bay has been prepping for his stakes debut at Pletcher's winter Florida base in Palm Beach Downs where he worked four furlongs in :49 flat (1/16) last Friday.
“It's a bit of a tricky race,” Donegal Racing's Jerry Crawford said. “This is the time of year where some horses get better and some don't, and he needs to get better on Saturday if he can turn himself into a contender. Obviously, there's a fair amount of front-end speed and they'll be asked to go a mile and an eighth at the same time. Donegal Racing has always been treated exceptionally well in New York and have had some good success up there.”