03/08/2012 4:32PM

Aqueduct: Tony Dutrow raves about supposed lesser half of pair for Capossela


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Ancient Rome will be the shorter price of the Tony Dutrow-trained uncoupled entry in Saturday’s $100,000 Fred “Cappy” Capossela Stakes at Aqueduct, but to hear him talk, Dutrow sounds more excited about running Christopher’s Joy in the six-furlong race for 3-year-olds.

Ancient Rome, who won the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream last December, returns to sprinting after a failed attempt at stretching out around two turns in the Gulfstream Park Derby.

Dutrow wasn’t totally surprised that Ancient Rome couldn’t go a route of ground, but he figured to see a better performance than he did. Ancient Rome finished 10th.

“I can’t understand how that horse showed absolutely nothing that day. I just can’t make sense of that,” Dutrow said. “I thought he would at least show some speed and carry them around there for five-eighths of a mile.”

Dutrow said he was happier with the way Ancient Rome trained at Palm Meadows than he has been since the colt shipped to Aqueduct in early February.

“I’m not as happy with him at Aqueduct as I was with him at Palm Meadows,” Dutrow said. “I mean he’s doing very well, he’s happy, he’s eating, he looks good; I’m just not seeing the same in his workouts as I was in Florida.”

Conversely, Dutrow said he is “over the moon” with how Christopher’s Joy is doing entering the Capossela. Christopher’s Joy, a son of Exclusive Quality, won two races at Parx and will be making his stakes debut in the Capossela.

“He’s training fantastic. He’s doing fantastic. He’s got ‘I’m ready to go’ written all over him,” Dutrow said. “I don’t know if he’s good enough.”

Stewart Elliott rides Christopher’s Joy from post 3.

Trainer Chad Brown also has the uncoupled entry of Hardened Wildcat and Beggarthyneighor in the Capossela. Both come into the race following back-to-back victories.

Beggarthyneighbor won a maiden race over the inner track on Jan. 1 and then shipped to Laurel, where he won the Dancing Count Stakes by a length on Jan. 28. He has enough speed that figures to put him prominent early under Junior Alvarado.

Hardened Wildcat has won two straight over the inner track after finishing fifth in his debut. The race appears to set up nicely for him from off the pace under Eddie Castro.

Copy My Swagger missed some time after winning a starter allowance and finished third behind Hardened Wildcat and Perfect Trippi in his first start off a two-month layoff.

Perfect Trippi, who beat Beggarthyneighbor last Nov. 24, and How Do I Win, who cuts back to sprinting after two failed route tries, complete the field.