Captain Squire Still on Track for Dubai

On Wednesday, Robert Bone and Jeff Diener's Captain Squire worked for the first time since winning the $250,000 Fed-Ex Sunshine Millions Sprint Jan. 25 by a widening 5 ½ lengths, logging an impressive half-mile in :49 1/5, breezing, over Santa Anita's fast main track. Jockey Alex Solis was in the irons for the move, which was the 21st fastest of the 40 who went four furlongs.

"He went great," Solis said. "Just like a champion."

According to trainer Jeff Mullins, Captain Squire is still being pointed to run on the March 29 Dubai World Cup despite the threat of war in the Middle East. The 4-year-old colt has been invited to both the grade I Golden Shaheen, which is set at six furlongs, and the grade II Godolphin Mile. Both are $2 million races.

"We're ready to do battle," Mullins said of him and his charge. "We'll have to wait and see what develops, but as of now that's our plan."

Mullins said Captain Squire may not race again before Dubai, which may also be a deciding factor on which race the son of Flying Chevron will run in.

"I'd hate to run him if I don't have to," Mullins said. "And he's run so well fresh before, so I'm thinking I may just wait and not start him until then. Both races are fine because they involve one turn or less, but I'm leaning to the sprint race, which means I have to keep him as fresh as possible."

Captain Squire also won the Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. II) and Turf Paradise Derby last year and placed in three other stakes. He's banked a total of $471,800 with a career record of 11-5-2-2.

Captain Squire is just one of Mullins' 10 winners who have helped launch him to near the top of the current Santa Anita trainer standings for the first time in his career. The conditioner sat in the second spot behind top trainer Bob Baffert, who has saddled 16 winners, and tied with Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel going into Wednesday's card.

"My accountant sure likes it," Mullins joked. "But seriously, (the success) just makes it a little easier for us to be here and be able to take care of the high costs of racing here in California."