Although Capo Bastone enters this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships off a victory in one of North America's top dirt sprint races, his connections are learning toward a start in the Geico Turf Sprint (gr. IT).
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Capo Bastone, who won the Foxwoods King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds Aug. 24 at Saratoga Race Course, is entered in both the Turf Sprint and the Xpressbet Sprint (gr. I) at this year's Breeders' Cup Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita Park, but his first preference is the Turf Sprint. A start in that race would mark the first on the grass for the Street Boss colt.
Trainer Todd Pletcher and the owners had been looking at starting Capo Bastone in a turf race throughout the year but it didn't work out. Sensing the King's Bishop would be loaded with early speed, Pletcher started Capo Bastone in that dirt sprint and Capo Bastone rallied from 11th to win the seven-furlong race at 28-1 odds.
Capo Bastone finished third in last season's 1 1/16-mile Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Santa Anita but after an off-the-board finish in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (gr. III) at Turfway Park, he has made three straight starts in one-turn races. Two of those races have been in one-turn mile races, including a close second to stablemate Forty Tales in the Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, followed by the King's Bishop.
Capo Bastone has never started at the Sprint distance of six furlongs, although he did win a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race in his debut Aug. 4, 2012 at Del Mar on the Polytrack. The Sprint is contested at six furlongs while the Turf Sprint is contested at 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside course.
"If the Sprint were contested at seven furlongs, we probably would have made that our first preference," Pletcher said.