Capac's Derby Hopes Take a Soaking

(from Laurel report)
Water Cannon doused the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopes of Capac when he scored a narrow victory in the $40,000 Miracle Wood Stakes as the heavy favorite tired to fifth.

Show bettors took a bath in the race as well when $58,545 of the $64,485 show pool went down the drain on Capac.

Ramon Dominguez picked up the mount on Water Cannon this afternoon when jockey Ryan Fogelsonger was excused from his mounts complaining of soreness that resulted from a spill two days ago. Dominguez took his orders from trainer Linda Albert and delivered a unique winning ride.

Water Cannon raced to the front coming out of the first turn of the 1 1/16-mile test, then relinquished the lead, falling all the way back in fifth. Capac, in the meantime, was moving easily in fourth and then third much of the race but failed to fire when asked at the top of the lane. Water Cannon and Dominguez came bursting between horses a furlong from home, then fended off a late challenge from Eastern Bay to win by a half-length.

Water Cannon has won three races in a row since Albert added blinkers. He improved his career record to 3-2-1 in nine starts.

"I have absolutely no idea what happened," said a dumbfounded Jeremy Rose, who rode Capac. "I had the leaders tracked and should have run by them with ease if I had any horse. We should have won but he just didn't respond. I have no reason why."

Capac, who ranked 15th in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager at odds of 38-1, was making his second start at Laurel Park this month, having trounced six opponents in a seven-furlong allowance race on Feb. 4.

"I saw he made a three-wide move but I knew Jeremy was out of horse," said Dominguez of the 2-5 favorite. "I wasn't concerned about him because Pino (aboard Eastern Bay) was circling the field."

The winners' time was 1:45.29 and he paid $9. His victory, coupled with the off-the-board finish of Capac, rewarded show bettors with payoffs of $20.40 for Water Cannon, $30.60 for Eastern Bay and $40.60 for third place finisher Wanaka.

(Chart, Equibase)