07/30/2013 2:02PM

Del Mar notes: Fury Kapcori set for highly anticipated 3-year-old debut

Shigeki Kikkawa
Fury Kapcori, second in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity in December, will make his first start of the year in an optional claimer at Del Mar on Thursday.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – By the end of last year, Fury Kapcori had established himself as one of the circuit’s leading 2-year-olds, putting himself on the short list of potential Kentucky Derby prospects for 2013 with his second-place finish to Violence in the CashCall Futurity. But he suffered a knee injury this year that kept him out of the spring preps and knocked him off the Derby trail.

On Thursday at Del Mar, Fury Kapcori finally gets back to the races. He makes his 3-year-old debut in the day’s sixth race, a six-furlong optional claimer in which Fury Kapcori is using his second-level allowance condition. This will be his first race at Del Mar, and though he won sprinting against maidens at Golden Gate last year, he showed sharp improvement when sent around two turns, with a win in the Charlie Palmer Futurity at Fresno and then runner-up finishes in the Real Quiet Stakes and the CashCall Futurity at Betfair Hollywood Park.

“I don’t know that six furlongs is his forte, but he’s doing real well,” his trainer and co-owner, Jerry Hollendorfer, said Tuesday. “We’ve waited a long time to launch his comeback. He had a little sliver of a chip on the top of the joint, so we gave him lots and lots of time.”

Fury Kapcori is the only 3-year-old in the field. He faces five older horses, including the stakes winner Gladding, who is making his second start for trainer Vann Belvoir since being claimed for $62,500 in January.

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Also in the field is Doyouseemecoming, who finished second in a similar race at Hollywood Park on June 30. This will be his third start following an eight-month layoff.

“After Del Mar last summer, we took a chip out of his right knee,” said his trainer, John Sadler. “He’s been doing great. He’s come back at 4 a lot better horse.”

Doyouseemecoming beat a first-level allowance field in May by rallying from just off the pace. He found himself on the lead last time before settling for second.

“He made all the running last time,” Sadler said. “I think he’s better when he has a target.”

Corporate Jungle a ‘model patient’

Corporate Jungle, who suffered a career-ending injury in the Wickerr Stakes on July 24, has been “a model patient,” trainer Tom Proctor said Tuesday.

Corporate Jungle injured his right front ankle, but so far has had satisfactory support from the ligaments in that joint, Proctor said. He has remained at Proctor’s Del Mar barn.

“It looks like he’s not going to need surgery,” Proctor said. “He’s got support from the outer half. Hopefully, time will give him support from the inner half. He’ll probably need to be in a splint for two months and need stall rest for four months.”

Corporate Jungle, 5, is a son of Giant’s Causeway who won 4 of 13 starts, including the Grade 3 Appleton at Gulfstream in 2012. He was second to Wise Dan in last summer’s Fourstardave at Saratoga.

Bing Crosby rematch unlikely

It looks like Points Offthebench and Goldencents, who were separated by a head in the Bing Crosby Stakes last Sunday, will head in different directions for the rest of the summer.

Trainer Tim Yakteen said there’s a “small possibility” that Points Offthebench could come back in the Grade 2, $250,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes on Aug. 25, but he’s more likely to have the rest of the meet off.

“We’ll play it by ear,” Yakteen said. “He runs well fresh, and he’s sort of a lighter-made horse. He seems to do well with his races spaced.”

Goldencents could come back in the O’Brien, but likely will head to Saratoga for the Grade 1, $500,000 King’s Bishop Stakes on Aug. 24, trainer Doug O’Neill said. Both races are at seven furlongs, but the King’s Bishop offers twice the purse and is restricted to 3-year-olds.

Points Offthebench gave Yakteen his first Grade 1 win since he went out on his own as a trainer eight years ago following apprenticeships with Bob Baffert and Charlie Whittingham.

“I’ve been around Grade 1 winners lots of times for other trainers,” he said. “This is much sweeter. It’s a real special feeling.”

Yakteen said he has 25 horses at Del Mar. He won three times with seven runners through the first two weeks of the meet. For the year, he has won with 18 of 84 starters, and his runners have earned $696,314.

“I’m definitely having my best year,” Yakteen said. “I started slow the first couple of months.”

Smith a man on the go

Jockey Mike Smith completed a coast-to-coast graded-stakes double last weekend, winning the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga with Palace Malice, then taking the Bing Crosby with Points Offthebench.

He woke up early Sunday in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., was at the Albany airport shortly after 5 a.m. Eastern, flew cross-country, with a connection, to San Diego, then rode that afternoon at Del Mar.

“I don’t ever need much sleep anyway; four hours, and I’m good,” Smith said. “I get more than that on the plane.”

Smith, who turns 48 on Aug. 10, believes his fitness routine is one reason he is doing so well. On Monday and Tuesday, he spent an hour in the gym with a private trainer, then ran for more than 30 minutes. On race days, Smith often can be seen doing laps around the main track between training hours and first post time.

In addition to Palace Malice and Points Offthebench, Smith is the regular rider for Game On Dude and Royal Delta. Those two are scheduled to run Aug. 25 – Game On Dude in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar and Royal Delta in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga – and Smith will go to Saratoga.

As a result, Joel Rosario has picked up the mount on Game On Dude. Rosario rode Dullahan to victory in last year’s Pacific Classic. On Monday night, Donegal Racing, which owns Dullahan, said on Twitter that Rafael Bejarano would ride Dullahan in this year’s Pacific Classic.