Colonial's Soft Sod Suits Sailor's Cap

Colonial's Soft Sod Suits Sailor's Cap
Photo: Coady Photography
Sailor's Cap powers through the rain to take Colonial Turf Cup.
When everyone at Colonial Downs was looking for shelter or an umbrella they should have been looking for a Sailor’s Cap. 

In a drenching thunderstorm, Alan Garcia swung Sailor’s Cap four wide coming out of the turn and pulled away to prevail by 6 3/4 lengths over a willing Nistle’s Crunch in the $600,000 Colonial Turf Cup (gr. III) (VIDEO) on a soft course at Colonial Downs. Your Round, the longest shot on the board at 55-1, finished third.

The ownership group of Team Valor International managed by Aron Wellman slapped high fives and danced in the mud waiting for Garcia to return their 3-year old by Distant View--Wave On (by Caveat) to return to the winner’s circle. Trained by James Toner, Sailor's Cap went off as a lukewarm 7-2 choice in a field of 10 sophomores.

The race started with a subtle lull in the rain that kicked up several notches once the field crossed the wire for the first time.  While Kentucky Bear set the pace at :25.26 for the opening quarter, :50.91 for the half and 1:18.26 after three quarters of a mile, Garcia galloped Sailor’s Cap eight lengths behind the frontrunner going up the backstretch. When the pacesetter faded, Garcia angled Sailor's Cap coming out of the turn wide enough to avoid traffic. After getting the lead, they increased their margin over the challengers in the final furlong.

“This horse he loves this kind of soft turf,” said Garcia, running back to the paddock with a big smile in the storm. “He handled everything fine. He was much the best today.”

Nistle's Crunch stalked the pace for Robby Albarado on the outside of Kentucky Bear before getting the lead near the quarter pole. Though he was no match for the winner, he held gamely for second by one length over Your Round, who edged Court Vision by a head for third. Second choice Adriano finished fifth.

Sailor's Cap owns two wins and a second in three tries on soft or yielding ground and was coming off a tough-luck loss by a neck to Tizdejavu in the American Turf (gr. IIIT) on a yielding Churchill Downs turf course May 2. Nistle's Crunch finished a close third that day.

Wave On bred the bay colt in Kentucky. Sailor's Cap earned $360,000 for his third win in six lifetime starts, all on the lawn, and has banked $463,495.

Sailor’s Cap paid $9.20, $5.20 and $3.80. Nistle’s Crunch was $6.60 and $4.80 to place with Your Round, ridden by James Lopez, paying $14.40 to show. The final time was 2:04.42.

Court Vision and Adriano, both coming out of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), were followed by Baltimore Bob, El Sultry Sun, Sporting Art, Boss Lafitte and Kentucky Bear.

(Chart, Equibase)

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