First Captain rebounds with gallant victory in the Pimlico Special (G3)
RSS Feeds Friday, May 20, 2022

Eddie Woods training grad First Captain stretch out from seven furlongs in the April 9 Carter H. (G1) to 1 3/16-miles in the Pimlico Special (G3) on May 20 and came away with a victory by a head over Vindictive.

Winner of last year’s Dwyer S. (G3), First Captain has won five of seven starts and earned over $500,000 for the ownership group of West Point Thoroughbreds, Siena Farm LLC, Bobby Flay and Woodford Racing LLC.

First Captain took back off the early pace and was fifth while in the two-path around the first turn. After a slow half-mile in :49.80, First Captain was still in mid-pack about four lengths from the front. He started to gain ground around the turn, going five-wide into the stretch to mount his bid. Vindictive had the lead with a furlong to go, with First Captain bearing down with every stride and taking the lead just a few jumps from the wire.

“I didn’t want him up on the pace,” said winning trainer Shug McGaughey. “I thought that one of the problems in the Carter was that maybe we were laying a little too close and he didn’t have that kick. I wanted him back a little bit. It’s going to be a little bit easier for him when he does get a pace.”

First Captain was bred by Flay. The son of Curlin out of Grade 3 winner America sold for $1.5 million to his owners at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling sale.