Keeneland January Grad Capo Kane On Kentucky Derby Trail with Big Jerome Stakes Victory

New York has its own road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), but it seems to be running through Bensalem, Pa.

A second straight Kentucky Derby qualifying points race in New York went to a Parx Racing-based runner Jan. 1 as Bing Cherry Racing and Leonard Liberto’s Capo Kane cruised on the front end to a decisive 6 1/4-length victory in the 151st edition of the $145,500 Jerome Stakes for newly turned 3-year-olds over a muddy surface at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Capo Kane was bred by Rising Star Farm LLC and was purchased from Legacy Bloodstock at the Keeneland January sale. He joins another Legacy Bloodstock yearling grad, Prime Factor, on the 2021 Kentucky Derby trail.

Capo Kane, a California-bred son of Street Sense coming off a maiden win at Parx, surely had no trouble handling the Aqueduct surface and the one-turn mile as he revived Triple Crown hopes for Wyner, who missed out on his first Run for the Roses starter last year.

Back in 2019, Wyner advised John Fanelli and Leonard Liberto to purchase the New York-bred Ny Traffic. The son of Cross Traffic logged his first four races with Wyner, winning one of them, before he was sent to Florida and the barn of trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. With Joseph, Ny Traffic was unplaced in the 2020 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (G1) but was second by a nose to Kentucky Derby winner Authentic  in the Haskell Stakes (G1).

“Thank God we sent Ny Traffic to Florida because right after that COVID hit,” Wyner said. “I told Mr. Fanelli he was a Kentucky Derby horse.”

After the Jerome, Wyner now has a colt with 10 Kentucky Derby points and a pedigree to thrive around two turns who figures to stay in his barn.

“I’m keeping this one,” said Wyner, who has about 24 horses based at Parx. “I want to say thank you to the owners, Mr. Liberto and Mr. Como (Tony Como of Bing Cherry Racing) for giving me the opportunity and buying this horse for me and having faith in me.”

Capo Kane led through a half-mile in :47.83 over 7-5 favorite Swill while under a snug hold by jockey Dylan Davis.

When Swill began to retreat leaving the quarter pole, a pair of New York State-breds, Eagle Orb and Hold the Salsa, took up the chase but they were no match for the Cal-bred in the stretch. Though Capo Kane drifted a bit in the stretch, he widened his 2 1/2-length lead at the eighth pole in a manner that bodes well for his handling two turns in stakes company.

“In the morning, the farther he gallops, the stronger he gets,” Wyner said. “He loves to run. He’s a racehorse.”
Sent off at 6-1 odds ($15.80), Capo Kane was timed in 1:38.02.

“He broke sharp for me, and I was able to take the lead very comfortably. 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,” Davis said.

Wyner said he’ll decide between the Feb. 6 Withers Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct or the Feb. 13 Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Ford (G2) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots for Capo Kane’s next start.

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