By Jon Forbes | 07/29/2011 04:59 PM ET
Captain Webb’s debut went swimmingly as the 2-year-old emulated his sire and posted a first-out victory at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday.
Bet down to 3-2 as the favorite, Captain Webb stalked the pace while racing three wide in third, was given more rein on the upper turn, and needed only hand urging to claim the lead at the top of the stretch and go on to a 2 ½ length victory, completing 1 1/16 miles over “good” turf in 1:45.25.
Like his sire, English Channel, Captain Webb is trained by Todd Pletcher for owner J. Scatuorchio and won at first-asking at the Spa as a 2-year-old. That said, Captain Webb has a long way to duplicate the feats achieved by his sire, who won six Grade 1 races, including the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Turf by seven lengths and consecutive renewals of the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park.
“I trained English Channel, so I’m excited about Captain Webb winning,” said Pletcher. “He had been training very well. He breezes OK on the dirt, but it was natural to put him on the grass. Obviously, the grass provides the opportunity to run long as well.”
Pletcher said the Grade 2 With Anticipation at 1 1/16 miles on September 1 would be Captain Webb’s next objective.
“It’d be the logical thing to do,” said Pletcher.
Miss Mary Pat, Captain Webb’s dam, won a sales stakes and an overnight stakes at Lone Star Park as a juvenile and is out of a mare who was stakes placed.
Horses previously featured in the New York Watch series include 2010 Champion Two-Year-Old Colt Uncle Mo; Boys At Tosconova, victorious in the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful; More Than Real, who annexed the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf; Breeders’ Futurity hero J. B.’s Thunder; To Honor and Serve, who swept the Nashua and Remsen; and multiple graded-stakes winner Winter Memories. Other graded stakes winners on the New York Watch list are Eightyfiveinafifty, Position Limit, Flashpoint, and Royal Delta.
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