02/19/2013 3:23PM

Gulfstream Park: Capo Bastone wins for Pletcher

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Tom Keyser
Capo Bastone won his 3-year-old debut and could return in a race like the Rebel at Oaklawn.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Although trainer Bill Mott was the No. 1 star this past week, leading trainer Todd Pletcher didn’t fare too badly himself over the holiday weekend. Pletcher sent out Capo Bastone to win his 3-year-old debut Saturday, then came back Monday to register impressive allowance wins with a pair of 4-year-olds, Hierro and the filly Ciao Bella.

Capo Bastone won the 1 1/16-mile optional claimer by a head over a sloppy track. Pletcher said even though the time of Capo Bastone’s race was slow and the colt received only a 69 Beyer Speed Figure, he was very happy with the performance.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

“We had a pretty wide trip,” Pletcher said. “It was probably more impressive than the final margin of victory or final time suggests. He broke cleanly and it kind of put him in a difficult position because he was all of six wide all the way around the first turn, put in a nice run down the backside to put himself in a good position, and he’s the kind of horse who waits on his competition. I think he did get a little tired the last part, and the track was a little demanding today as well.”

Pletcher said a race like the March 16 Rebel at Oaklawn Park might work out well, timing-wise, for Capo Bastone’s next start.

Like Capo Bastone, Hierro was making his first start since being transferred to Pletcher’s barn. A winner of the 2012 Derby Trial when with trainer Steve Asmussen, Hierro rallied to a convincing 2 1/4-length victory going seven furlongs Monday.

“I was very pleased with his race,” Pletcher said. “He was an accomplished horse before we got him and he’d been training like he’d run well.”

Pletcher mentioned the Grade 1 Carter at Aqueduct as a possibility for Hierro’s next start.

Ciao Bella was even more impressive in her 2013 debut, winning off by more than five lengths while earning a career-best Beyer of 100 in a one-mile optional claimer over the main track. Ciao Bella raced with blinkers for the first time in her career and on dirt for the first time in five starts. She ended her 2012 season with four straight losses, all on turf.

“We were a little frustrated for a short term there,” Pletcher said. “She just wasn’t finishing off her races like we’d thought she should. But she really came to life in her last three breezes. I thought blinkers made a difference when we worked her with them the first time, but she was just as sharp going without them in her last breeze, so I think it was more a case of her just doing well at the moment than the equipment change.”

Pletcher said the Grade 2 Rampart here March 30 could be next for Ciao Bella.

◗ Sprint champion Trinniberg continues to progress toward his 2013 debut after working a half-mile in 48 and galloping out five-eighths in 1:01 here Tuesday. Trinniberg could launch his campaign in the Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan on March 30.

◗ A carryover of more than $3.1 million will be on the line in the Rainbow 6 when racing resumes Thursday. There also will be a super high five carryover of nearly $17,000 up for grabs in Thursday’s nightcap.