First Captain

Hot Rod Charlie, Medina Spirit Among Early PA Derby Noms

GSW Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) heads the early nominations for the Sept 25 GI Pennsylvania Derby. The nine-furlong marquee race for 3-year-olds highlights a stacked card which features eight stakes races, including five at the graded level. The Pennsylvania Derby was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. "We're still a few works away, but we're real optimistic about Charlie's next stop, the Pennsylvania Derby," said trainer Doug O'Neill. "The race looks to be coming up tough, which one would expect with a million dollars on the line." Winner...

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Lynn Hancock Builds Upon Family Success at Saratoga

   Lynn Hancock breezed through the Fasig-Tipton sales grounds early Tuesday morning last week, heading for Barn 1 wearing a baseball cap and a smile. After a long stretch of days running a successful consignment at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings Sale, Stone Farm's Director of Racing and Sales had enjoyed a night of celebration when her consignment sold the highest-priced yearling of the auction's first session. "I didn't want to get out of bed this morning, but the horses needed fed," she said with a grin, nodding toward the...

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First Captain to Skip Travers

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--Four-time GI Runhappy Travers S.-winning trainer Shug McGaughey said Thursday that First Captain (Curlin) will not run in Saratoga's signature race Aug. 28. Godoplphin's Essential Quality (Tapit), the winner of seven of eight career starts, including the GI Belmont S., is the headliner for the 152nd running of the $1.25 million Travers. Though the chestnut colt is fine following his third-place finish in the Curlin S. July 30, McGaughey decided to pass on the Travers and point to the GI Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 25. "I just don't think...

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Curlin Looking to Follow Up on Memorable 2019 Saratoga Success

The last time the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings Sale was held, Curlin recorded a memorable trifecta with the auction's top three seven-figure yearlings. Leading the way was the $1.5-million co-topper First Captain, who was tabbed a 'TDN Rising Star' and captured  the GIII Dwyer S. The Hill 'n' Dale stallion will be represented by five yearlings when bidding returns to the Humphrey S. Finney pavilion in upstate New York next week. "Curlin is truly a Classic sire," said Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales Agency, which will consign two fillies...

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Dynamic One Upsets the Curlin

Dynamic One earned his black-type badge with an upset of previously undefeated and heavily favored First Captain in the Curlin S. at Saratoga Friday, one of two local preps for the Aug. 28 GI Runhappy Travers S. Trailing the field early as longshot Snow House (Twirling Candy) clocked an opening splits of :23.63 and :47.34 with Beren (Weigelia) pressing from his outside hip and First Captain leading the second flight in fifth. Splitting rivals four wide turning for home with the field fanned out across the track, the chestnut moved...

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Curlin 'Rising Star' Fittingly Favored in Curlin

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--After capitalizing on an opportunity against a small field in the GIII Dwyer July 5, unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' First Captain (Curlin) returns to trainer Shug McGaughey's original schedule Friday in the $120,000 Curlin S. at Saratoga Race Course. In his first start away from Belmont Park, the chestnut colt will face six other 3-year-olds in the 1 1/8-mile race that returns after being dropped from last year's COVID-19-scrambled season program. His competition includes GII Wood Memorial runner-up Dynamic One (Union Rags), who is making his first start...

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Two Fresh Forces For The Next Cycle

Every year, like the fireflies, they emerge with the gathering heat of summer. Even as the more established sophomores hobble out of the Triple Crown series--many requiring rest or recuperation, some even menaced by retirement--a second wave reliably reinvigorates the crop. Sure enough, in recent days a couple of new names have volunteered themselves to test the resilience of those Classic protagonists who do persevere to Saratoga and beyond. But while both share a fresh, progressive profile, in other respects they could scarcely be more different. 'TDN Rising Star' First...

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West Point CEO Terry Finley Talks First Captain, Owners' Responsibilities On Writers' Room

Represented by undefeated 'TDN Rising Star' First Captain (Curlin) this past weekend when the chestnut captured the GIII Dwyer S. at Belmont, West Point Thoroughbreds' CEO Terry Finley joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Wednesday morning. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Finley talked about the next steps for West Point's prized 3-year-old, the growing purchasing power of partnerships across racing, owners' responsibility in cleaning up the sport and more. "He's probably going to have to take another step forward, but at...

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Terry Finley Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Two days after First Captain, a $1.5 million yearling purchase for West Point Thoroughbreds and partners, got his third straight win in the GIII Dwyer S., Terry Finley joined the TDN Writers' Room to talk on the 'TDN Rising Star' and the current state of the racing industry.

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First Captain Sails to Dwyer Win

West Point Thoroughbreds, Siena Farm, Bobby Flay and Woodford Racing's First Captain (Curlin) remained unbeaten with an authoritative victory in the GIII Dwyer S. at Belmont Park Monday. Sent off the 2-5 favorite, First Captain raced at the back of the five-horse field as Ridin With Biden (Constitution) set the pace under a snug hold through an opening quarter in :23.47. The pacesetting longshot was still a length in front after a half in :46.67, but First Captain was tipped out for clear sailing at the top of the lane...

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First Captain Takes Next Step in Dwyer

Two-for-two 'TDN Rising Star' First Captain (Curlin) takes the next logical step in Monday's GIII Dwyer S. at Belmont Park. The $1.5-million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga co-topper defeated subsequent winner and 'Rising Star' recipient Mahaamel (Into Mischief) in their respective debuts going a furlong shorter here Apr. 24, then doubled up in a track-and-trip allowance in the slop May 29, good for a 95 Beyer Speed Figure. First Captain is owned by a powerful conglomerate led by West Point Thoroughbreds and conditioned by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey. "We're super excited and...

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Curlin Colt Fights Back to Become 'Rising Star'

West Point Thoroughbreds, Siena Farm, Bobby Flay and Woodford Racing's regally bred $1.5-million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga '19 co-topper First Captain (Curlin) snatched victory from the jaws of defeat Saturday to go two-for-two and garner the 'TDN Rising Star' distinction. The chestnut got going late to get up over seven panels here Apr. 24, earning a 94 Beyer Speed Figure in the process, and was even-money to continue his promising trajectory. Pressing out in the clear among a compact field through splits of :23.69 and :47.17, First Captain seemed to come under...

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