The beneficiary of a perfect stalking trip under Javier Castellano, Capt. Candyman Can edged clear approaching the sixteenth pole and went on to win the $200,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) by 3 3/4 lengths April 4 at Aqueduct.
On the Triple Crown trail until trainer Ian Wilkes determined he was best suited for shorter distances, Capt. Candyman Can ran seven furlongs in the Bay Shore, the same distance of the Hutcheson (gr. II), which he won in January at Gulfstream Park. The 3-year-old son of Candy Ride —Stormy Way, by Storm Creek, now has captured three graded stakes in his career. As a juvenile, the bay gelding won the Iroquois (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Sent off as the 6-5 favorite, Capt. Candyman Can was content to sit third in the early going of the Bay Shore while longshot Yano blazed through splits of :22.51 and :45.19 under Harry Vega. Taqarub pressed the pacesetter in second.
Capt. Candyman Can made his winning three-wide move as they came out of the turn and began to edge clear of Yano and Taqarub in upper stretch. He put the race away at the sixteenth-pole and cruised to the wire in a final time of 1:22.99 on the fast main track.
Taqarub finished second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Yano. Longshot Hatfield closed well for fourth in a field of nine 3-year-olds.
"There was a lot of speed in the race and my horse, he broke good but not fast enough to get up with the speed," Castellano said. "He broke a little slow, and I’m glad he did that because I had a chance to set up a little bit and ride up to the speed. I was looking for a good spot and I got it. When I asked him, he took off. I looked for the point and he really went after it."
Capt. Candyman Can races for Joseph Rauch and David Zell, who bred the gelding in partnership with Lantern Hill Farm in Kentucky. Capt. Candyman Can has a 4-0-1 record from seven starts and has earned $344,145.
“I think he’ll run three-quarters, seven-eighths; he‘s a one-turn horse," Wilkes said. "I think he might stretch out to a mile later on. Our ultimate goal is the King’s Bishop (gr. I, Aug. 29, Saratoga). In between we have several options. Right now, I am going to enjoy this.”
Capt. Candyman Can paid $4.40, $2.90, and $2.10. The exacta (4-10) returned $16.60 while the trifecta (4-10-9) was worth $328.50. with 49-1 Yano.