Capo Kane kicked off the new year right on Friday with a wire-to-wire victory in the $145,500 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct, securing 10 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby (G1).
The fourth choice in a field of five newly-turned 3-year-olds, Capo Kane led by only a half-length through the opening 6 furlongs of the one-mile race, but did so while clipping off comfortable splits of :23.53, :47.83, and 1:12.62.
Under Dylan Davis, Capo Kane kicked clear in upper stretch and won in hand by 6 1/4 lengths, completing the one-turn course in 1:38.02 over a muddy track.
“He broke sharp for me and I was able to take the lead very comfortably,” Davis said. “He responded great all the way to the wire and I was very happy with the way he did it. He galloped out well. It was a very comfortable win and he handled the track real well.”
Owned by Bing Cherry Racing and Leonard Liberto, the Harold Wyner-trained colt returned $15.80. Eagle Orb finished second, 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Hold the Salsa, who nosed out 7-5 favorite Swill for third. Original was eased when hopelessly beaten. Eagle Orb, Hold the Salsa, and Swill earned Derby points of 4-2-1, respectively.
Second in his debut going 7 furlongs at Parx in late October, Capo Kane led throughout in breaking his maiden by 4 1/2 lengths going one mile and 70 yards at Parx the following month.
Capo Kane is expected to stretch out again for his next start, which Wyner suggested might be in the 1 1/8-mile Withers (G3) at Aqueduct on Feb. 6 or in the Risen Star (G2) over the same distance at Fair Grounds a week later.
“It should be no problem. In the morning, the further he gallops the stronger he gets. He just loves to run,” Wyner said.
Bred in California by Rising Star Farm, Capo Kane sold for $26,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale of juveniles last year. By Street Sense, he’s the first foal out of Twirl Me, by Hard Spun. Capo Kane’s third dam was the Grade 1-winning Tuzla.