Mystery 3-Year-Old Capac Shows Up in Laurel Allowance Race

Just who is Capac? Why was Bob Baffert so determined to buy the son of Deputy Minister off one maiden victory in the slop? Why was Bobby Frankel also interested? Why did Richard Santulli finally buy quarter-interest for a mid-six-figure price? Perhaps we'll find out on Wednesday.

Capac, who has been in training with Mike Bell in Camden, S.C., finally will come out of hiding when he faces six opponents in a seven-furlong, first-level allowance race at Laurel on Feb. 4. Jeremy Rose has been named to ride.

Baffert, a big fan of Deputy Minister, has been taken with Capac since he broke his maiden by 5 1/4 lengths at Churchill Downs, covering the six and a half furlongs in the slop in 1:18 2/5, and earning a 97 Beyer Speed figure. In his only other start, he was third in a seven-furlong maiden race at Keeneland.

Due to the cold in South Carolina, which recently was hit with an ice storm, Bell said he preferred to send Capac north rather than to a hot-weather climate.

"We lost a little time with him because of a quarter crack, but he's responded well." Bell said. "We're not sitting here trying at all cost to make the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). If things come into place, we hope to get there. But if not, it's a long year, and we're not going to rush him."

Bell is not one to rush any horse, having served as an assistant for many years to Frank Whiteley, and was very close to the great filly Ruffian, as well as other top-class horses.

Right after Capac broke his maiden, the offers came pouring in, and for big money. But owner John Fike of North Canton, Ohio, turned them down. When the New Jersey-based Santulli, who races primarily under the name Jayeff B Stable, offered to buy a quarter-interest earlier this month, Fike accepted.

Capac is out of the Seeking the Gold mare, Winner's Edge, a stakes-placed winner of over $145,000 and half-sister to Bel Air Handicap winner Bid Us; top English filly Lucky Song, winner of the group II Park Hill Stakes and second in the group III Lancashire Oaks; and Pollock's Luck, winner of the Ascot Handicap (gr. III) and second in the Affirmed Handicap (gr. II). Second dam, Lucky Us, is by Nijinsky II, which helps account for Capac's 1.77 dosage index. This is also the family of the top-class European stakes winner Hawk Wing, winner of the Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) and other major stakes and second in the English Derby (Eng-I) and Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I); and champion Canadian filly La Lorgnette, winner of the Queen's Plate and Canadian Oaks.