01/21/2002 12:00AM

Let's just call him 'Cappy' Perkins


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Spin Zone, making his stakes debut, provided trainer Ben Perkins Jr. with his third consecutive win in the $79,650 * at Aqueduct on Monday.

A holiday crowd of 5,571 was in attendance.

Spin Zone, under jockey Javier Castellano, was a three-length winner over President Butler. It was another three-quarters of a length back to second choice War Native, who finished third in the five-horse field of 3-year-olds. My Cousin Matt and Pharaoh's Cat completed the order of finish.

The victory actually was Perkins's fourth in the Capossela, which was named for the late track announcer. Perkins started his string of Capossela winners in 1990 with Stalker and followed with Max's Pal in 2000 and Forest Heir last year.

Spin Zone, who is owned by Charles Hesse's Char-Mari Stable, is a relatively new face around the Perkins barn; he only came under the trainer's care earlier this month. John Kimmel previously trained Spin Zone.

Spin Zone, the even-money favorite in the six-furlong Capossela, quickly outsprinted the field for the early lead and clicked off fractions of 22.81 seconds and 45.46. Spin Zone shrugged off a challenge from Pharaoh's Cat entering the stretch and drew off through the lane.

"I rode him last time for John Kimmel, and I wasn't sure if they would ask me to ride again, since they changed trainers," said Castellano, the leading rider at the inner track meet. "He broke in front and when I asked him, he responded nicely."

Spin Zone ($4.20) covered the distance in 1:10.31 over a fast track.

Perkins also trained Spin Zone's sire, Wild Zone, and said both horses share the same trait: They are speedy.

"But [Spin Zone] is better looking," Perkins said. "He's a nice, relaxed, handsome horse. He's a push-button horse."

Perkins said he would discuss Spin Zone's next start with the colt's owner, but anticipates he will keep Spin Zone at one-turn races for the time being. The next sprint stakes for 3-year-old male horses at Aqueduct is the $75,000-added Best Turn on Feb. 23.

Counting his Capossela win, Spin Zone has a record of 3-2-0 from six starts and $111,240 in earnings.


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