Capo Bastone Narrow Winner at Gulfstream

Three-year-old prospect uses sweeping move to take first start for Todd Pletcher.

Three-year-old prospect Capo Bastone  made his return to the races successfully Feb. 16 at Gulfstream Park, coming from off the pace with an early sweeping move to take an allowance race by a head as the 3-2 favorite.

Capo Bastone, third last year in both the FrontRunner Stakes (gr. I) (previously the Norfolk) and the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), was making his first start for trainer Todd Pletcher. The Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' colt, who had not been out since the BC Juvenile Nov. 3, was previously trained in Southern California by John Sadler.

John Velazquez was aboard the winning son of Street Boss  out of the Fit to Fight mare Fight to Love. The chestnut, a $175,000 Ocola Breeders Sale Co. purchase as a 2-year-old last March, was bred in Kentucky by Hargus and Sandra Sexton, Tom Bozarth, and Silver Fern Farm.

The non-winners of one event for optional claimers, contested over a sloppy, sealed main track, was worth $43,500. Capo Bastone defeated seven other 3-year-olds while clocking a time of 1:48.16.

Capo Bastone was reserved in fifth or sixth for the opening half-mile before launching a six wide bid on the far turn to challenge pacesetter Offlee Fast near the quarter pole. Capo Bastone poked a head in front at the furlong marker and dug in while fully extended to nip 15-1 shot Offlee Fast, ridden by Jozbin Santana.

Offlee Fast carved quarter mile fractions of :22.60, :46.66, and 1:12.84. It was three lengths back to third-place finisher Finn's Quest, who was 6 1/2 lengths clear of his nearest rival, second choice Duke of the City.

Capo Bastone, who paid $5 to win, now has two wins and two thirds from five starts with earnings of $314,100.